In the past 25 years, Panama City, Panama, has undergone a process of rapid and unplanned urbanization. The city is now three times the size it was in 1990, and almost half of the population and economic assets of the whole country are concentrated in 4 percent of the territory. Its proximity to the coast, extensive river network, and heavy annual precipitation means that the city is vulnerable to floods and sea level rise. This vulnerability is exacerbated by the lack of adequate land-use planning, scattered institutional responsibilities, a deficient drainage system, and the loss of natural wetlands in the Tocumen and Tapia basins. As a result, floods have become more frequent and intense, posing a significant challenge to socioeconomic development, especially in disadvantaged neighborhoods.
Creating a more resilient and sustainable future for Panama City will require investments that address these issues through a comprehensive and multi-sectoral approach. GFDRR is providing financial and technical support to Panama City’s efforts to strengthen resilience, sustainability, and connectivity through the Waterfront Redevelopment and Resilience Program. This program works to inform urban design of existing and future developments that include continuous multi-modal waterfront access, comprehensive wetland management and ecosystem services, and neighborhood upgrading.
“Nature-based solutions are a key part of our city Resilience Strategy. The presence of rich ecosystems, such as our watersheds and wetlands, offers us unique opportunities for flood risk mitigation and recreational activities, while providing climate protection and biodiversity conservation.”
—Marcos Marengo, Resilience Director of the Municipality of Panama