Caribbean countries are facing an increased threat from natural hazards due to climate change, rising sea levels, and adverse climate events, such as hurricanes, coastal erosion, and drought. This risk is exacerbated by insufficient investment in infrastructure across the region, especially in urban settings. There is a need to study possibilities for the construction of climate-resilient infrastructure in coastal cities, including green infrastructure which has effectively mitigated damages from storms, hurricanes, and other climate-induced hazards.

This Technical Assistance (TA) analyzes the current state of urban resilience work in the region with the aim of integrating resilience and stability in the urban infrastructure sector. After a series of meetings with urban development and disaster risk management leads from across the Caribbean, activities will be implemented in Grenada, Guyana, and Saint Vincent in the Grenadines due to their high vulnerability, strong interest in urban disaster-resilient infrastructure, and based on these countries’ ongoing engagements with the World Bank.

Main Activities
• Component 1: Synthesis of Vulnerabilities and Opportunities: This activity identifies and analyzes current operations, studies, and projects related to urban resilience in the Caribbean to prioritize needs in urban infrastructure and investment opportunities for proposed infrastructure development, resulting in increased local government capacities for project prioritization.
• Component 2: Proposal of Schematic Plan for Urban Resilience: This plan proposes new schematics for urban resilience in Caribbean coastal cities, and also proposes a series of interventions covering disaster risk management, improved connectivity, urban design, neighborhood upgrading, land use strategy, and cost estimation, resulting in innovative approaches and solutions informing policy.
• Component 3: Stakeholder Engagement: active participation and feedback from the public is encouraged by holding focus group sessions and stakeholder workshops with government agencies and other professional experts to raise public awareness and facilitate the exchange of best practices.

Results

Activities have started in view of the development of a comprehensive urban resilience plan for coastal cities in Grenada, Guyana and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. A competitive selection process was launched in August 2020 to develop comprehensive urban resilience plans for coastal cities in Grenada, Guyana, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The team is currently reviewing proposals submitted. The firms will start undertaking activities once the selection process is completed. The questions on effective engagement in the context of COVID-19 was already foreseen, and alternative arrangements are being found to implement activities, especially as it pertains to engagement with country representatives, data collection, and site visits.

Partnerships and Coordination

The TA supports local government representatives and the relevant European Union delegations.