Why resilient cities are important to ASEAN's future

Source(s): The Diplomat

Manila, where ASEAN leaders are gathering this week, is a reminder of the region’s remarkable growth, and of one of its biggest challenges.

The bustling Philippine metropolis epitomizes how 50 years of robust economic expansion has prompted unprecedented urban migration in Southeast Asia. But it also illustrates the vulnerability of the region’s booming mega-cities, many of which lay exposed to extreme weather events.

With much of its population living along its 81,000 miles of low-lying coastline, Southeast Asia is arguably one of the regions most at risk from climate change. To sustain ASEAN’s phenomenal economic progress over the next half-century, its leaders must commit to making climate change a central goal of policymaking. How they meet the challenge will determine whether ASEAN’s urban centers will continue to power economic growth and opportunity, or turn into concentrations of vulnerability, where progress is continuously eroded.


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