Land Use Policy Journal – Special Issue

Community, land use and SDG implementation for climate adaptive cities: Lessons learnt from India


The BReUCom project team co-edits a Special Issue in the "Land Use Policy" journal and especially invites Indian scholars in the areas of urban resilience to submit articles. Deadlines for submission of abstracts and full papers will be announced shortly. Please consult the following abstract to check if your topic falls within the focus of this Special Issue:


This special issue invites international researchers who focus on urban resilience in India and urban with the help of integrated planning. We would like to bring together the recent research on India to set an example for community, land use and SDG implementation to achieve climate adaptive cities. Increasing urbanization is posing a threat to cities, citizens and natural resources as well as exacerbating the risks arising by changes in climate.

In India, climate change impacts affecting cities the most are concerns over water and heat stress. Water scarcity as well as flooding have become a common phenomenon in cities across the country. Especially in the arid and semi-arid climatic zones of India, water stress is getting aggravated with time and needs to be looked at from the perspective of enhancing community and institutional resilience. Similarly, rising temperatures due to climate change are leading to heat stress and need remedial actions in designing and planning of built spaces at all scales of city planning. The spatial exposure to heat risks due to design and planning of built spaces is becoming well understood, but practices which increase the resistivity towards the hazard or the relative vulnerability of communities are not yet influencing decision-making and are not being reckoned.

Resilience amidst communities is a function of their ability to negotiate and overcome such chronic stresses and shocks. For instance, communities in the arid and semi-arid zones of India have been managing and coping up with water scarcity effectively in the historic past. Settlements, which have evolved over centuries in the form of organic spatial patterns, display certain inherent factors that deal with externalities like disasters.

Within the framework of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (especially SDG 1, 11, 13), putting forward such kind of indigenous knowledge and tacit anthropological systems to co-exist with formal political structures can help to improve the present condition and harness the appropriate traditional approaches used in the past to survive the impacts of disasters.

Historic urban land and spaces in a rapidly urbanizing economy like India’s are contested and exhibit social as well as spatial stresses. State developed tools and mechanisms often fail to protect the urban fabric or actively abet a biased unrealistic development model. In this context, methods to develop studied proposals aimed towards safeguarding the cultural identity embedded in built heritage and the land use patterns of the historic town is very much required both in people’s imagination as well as the state’s vision.

There needs to be an inclination of ‘resilience thinking’ towards acknowledging the plurality and investigating interconnections and interdependencies within and beyond cities. We welcome the empirical studies and best practices with a special focus on the following topics in India

  • Water stress / heat stress in urban areas
  • The role of culture in community in urban resilience and/or climate change adaptation
  • Resilience in historic Indian native urban areas
  • The issue of energy in climate adaptive cities
  • Role of indigenous knowledge in urban resilience and/or climate change adaptation
  • Best practices/examples to application of SDGs in urban areas
  • Informal and formal aspects of the urban form contributing to resilience
  • The role of higher education to prepare future urban professionals for sustainable and integrated planning, resilience building and land use policy
Coordinators of this special issue of Land Use Policy Journal: Dr. Funda Atun Girgin ( and Dr. Tania Berger (

Last modified: Wednesday, 25 November 2020, 1:06 PM