Intermediary Cities and Climate Change
An Opportunity for Sustainable Development
The consequences of climate change in developing countries are worsening fast: many
ecosystems will shortly reach points of irreversible damage, and socio-economic costs
will continue to rise. To alleviate the future impacts on populations and economies,
policy makers are looking for the spaces where they can make the greatest difference.
This report argues that intermediary cities in developing countries are such spaces.
Indeed, in the context of fast population growth and urbanisation, these small and
medium-sized cities silently play an essential role in the rapid transformation of
human settlements, not least by supporting the massive flows of population, goods
and services between rural and metropolitan areas. Most of those intermediary cities
are still growing: now is therefore the time to influence their dynamics, and thereby
the entire design of urbanisation in those regions, in ways that limit the exposure
of urban dwellers to climate shocks and avoid carbon lock-in. To that end, based on
fresh evidence and policy analysis on the challenges faced by these agglomerations
in the context of climate change, the report makes the case for new development approaches
to avoid the unsustainable paths followed by too many cities in the recent past.
Published on November 16, 2022