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Urban Poor

Urban growth is a contemporary challenge. More than half of the world's population currently lives in cities and urbanization continues to expand. With this growth, the numbers of the urban poor are increasing, particularly in developing countries. The urban poor are especially vulnerable to climate change because their homes are frequently located in hazardous areas.

Finding solutions

Despite their living conditions, the urban poor have a proven capacity to improve and invest in their communities.

The lives of the urban poor can be improved while limiting emissions and adapting to climate change. This can be done by providing the urban poor with basic services that are climate friendly and efficient and also by implementing appropriate adaptations to reduce their vulnerability to climate change. Watch the webcast of the Urban Poor special event at the 2013 UN Climate Change Conference in Warsaw.

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Momentum for Change: Urban Poor

Momentum for Change: Urban Poor highlights activities that address climate change while improving livelihoods and living conditions in urban areas of developing countries. Momentum for Change: Urban Poor was generously supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation from 2011-2015.

Momentum for Change Media
Women for Results ICT Solutions Financing for Climate Friendly Investment Planetary Health Advisory Panel
Climate Neutral Now Urban Poor Lighthouse Activities Activity Database Contact

Recognizing action in urban poor communities

Momentum for Change: Urban Poor showcases Lighthouse Activities that demonstrate concrete results to address climate change. All Urban Poor Lighthouse Activities are:

-E-Waste: From Toxic to Green

Training waste pickers to collect electronic waste
for safe disposal and recycling in India.

-Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative

Supporting sustainable growth in emerging cities in Latin America and the Caribbean.
-Solvatten Solar Safe Water Heater

Reducing emissions while securing access to safe drinking water in Kenya.

ImageResolve: Trash to Cash

An innovative solution to the city of
Kolkata’s solid waste problem.
Collecting and recycling corporate and household waste in urban areas.
ImageBuilding Storm-Resistant Houses

Increase the urban poor’s resilience to the effects of climate change, by administering a revolving loan to make their homes resistant to storms.

ImageEarth Roofs in the Sahel Program

Building resilience to the effects of deforestation and warming temperatures with a traditional, low-carbon building technique known as Nubian Vault systems.
ImageNational Resettlement Plan

Relocating thousands of families out of flood-prone and polluted areas, into secure housing on secure land to help them adapt to the effects of climate change.

photoCommunity based micro climate resilience

Designing and building new types of flood-resilient and affordable housing among the urban poor community in Gorakhpur.
photoFostering Innovative Sanitation and Hygiene in Monrovia

Adopting a community-driven innovative approach to provide fecal sludge management services to unsewered poor areas of Liberia.

photoPollinate Energy: Clean Energy for India's Urban Communities

Training local community members in urban slums to run their own clean-energy businesses offering affordable solar-powered home lighting systems.
photoPublic Private People Partnerships for Climate Compatible Development (4PCCD)

Focusing on the production of local climate change action plans that are implemented at the neighbourhood level.

imageRecnowa Initiative

Building resilience in urban poor communities by employing urban poor artisans and street youth in Ghana while reducing waste in landfills and litter in the streets.
Momentum for changeAdaptation to coastal erosion in vulnverable areas

Protecting the coastal areas of Rufisque, Saly and Joal – all just outside Senegal's capital Dakar – against further erosion caused by sea level rise and storm surges.

imageSolar Sister

Solar Sister is an innovative socialenterprise with the mission to achieve sustainable, scalable impact at the nexus of women's empowerment, energy poverty and climate change.
imageEnergy Efficiency in Brick Production

Improving energy efficiency and using less and cleaner fuels for artisanal brick production, reduces the environmental impact and improves local air quality.

imageAhmedabad, Bus Rapid Transit system

The BRT system in Ahmedabad provides an affordable public transport network enabling users to reach their destinations in the shortest and easiest way.
imageCarbon for Water

Access to clean drinking water is a problem in many parts of Africa, and for its purification water must be boiled. is a problem for the environment. LifeStraw® Carbon For WaterTM is an easy to set up and maintain water purification system that uses no fuel.

imageOrganic Waste Compost in Nepal

By processing organic waste into compost, the Lighthouse Activity succeeds in reducing methane emissions that are otherwise caused in traditional landfills.
imageElectric Vehicles in Sri Lanka

The commercial introduction of electric and hybrid vehicles on the streets Sri Lanka's capital, Colombo. By successful lobby work the project now receives governmental support.

Momentum for changeGuangzhou Bus Rapid Transport System

Featuring a range of innovative and transformational features, such as being the first BRT with a bicycle corridor, and the first high capacity BRT system worldwide to operate direct service routes.
imageHolistic Approaches to Community Adaptation to Climate Change

This community-based adaptation programme activity uses six coping strategies to climate change vulnerability in local communities.

ImageBuffelsdraii Landfill Site Community Reforestation

Helping the poor improve their lives, restore our ecosystems whilst at the same time adapting to climate change.
imageGlobal Alliance for Clean Cookstoves - The Paradigm Project

A public-private partnership that is providing a collaborative network to support the widespread adoption of clean cookstoves and the creation of a global market.

ImageWales-Mbale Climate Change Tree Planting

Planting over one million trees to improve the coffee growing environment. Trees are also being planted along urban streets to provide shade and improve the urban environment.
Momentum for changeeMalahleni Water Reclamation Plant

Providing a safe and reliable source of water to the community.

Spurring Climate Change Adaptation in Seychelles Schools through Rainwater Harvesting
A rainwater harvesting project aimed at providing fresh water to schools and implementing an in-depth education and awareness program.
ImageHorn of Africa Risk Transfer for Adaptation - Rural Resilience Initiative

Cash-poor farmers are able to pay their premiums by engaging in community identified projects that reduce risk and build climate resilience such as improved irrigation and soil management.

Momentum for ChangeSolar Driven LED Street Lighting in Guiyang villages

Solar driven LED street lighting provides high-quality, cost-efficient lighting using sunlight instead of conventional electricity.
Momentum for ChangeA Litre of Light

A partnership of local governments and private enterprise that is scaling-up a simple idea to provide lighting through solar bottle bulbs.

Momentum for ChangeThe Buses of Brazil: Connectivity - Intelligent Transport Solution

Reducing emissions and providing a more attractive transport solution for the city's 3.5 billion inhabitants.
Momentum for ChangeScaling Up Solar in India through Public-Private Action

A Partial Credit Guarantee system which provides a mechanism for public private partnership investment into solar power.

These lighthouse activities were selected by the Momentum for Change Advisory Panel after receiving dozens of applications from around the world.

All eligible activities are part of an activity database which provides a broader range of the types of activities benefitting the urban poor while addressing climate change.

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