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Building Climate Resiliency Through Urban Plans and Designs in the Philippines

Capacitating city governments and decision-makers to apply a climate science-based approach in adapting to and mitigating these climate change impacts.


Eastern and South-Eastern Asia




Urban Design and Public Space

Elevation and human settlements

Project Details


  • Legazpi, Angeles, Tagum, Cagayan de Oro, Ormoc (The Philippines)


  • Consultancy


  • The Philippines Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board
  • The Philippine Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development
  • The Philippine Department of the Interior and Local Government
  • The Philippine Climate Change Commission
  • The Philippine National Economic and Development Authority
  • The Philippine League of Cities



Fast urbanizing regional centres in The Philippines have been experiencing increased rainfall, increased frequency and intensity of typhoons, and increased temperatures.

This has resulted in climate related hazards, including severe flooding, heat stress, and landslides; bringing degradation of the biodiversity and significant danger to the people, especially the vulnerable communities in flood-prone areas that lack the capacity to adapt to the hazards.

The Government of the Philippines saw this as an opportunity to be at par with international standards in terms of urban design from the lens of climate resiliency, and to capacitate city governments and decision-makers to apply a climate science based approach in adapting to and mitigating these climate change impacts.

Issues and opportunities
Storm surge map

The project defined local urban design solutions for climate change adaptation in five pilot cities (Ormoc, Tagum, Cagayan de Oro, Legazpi, and Angeles). The Comprehensive Land Use Plans (CLUP) for each city have been reviewed considering climate change risks, with a focus on the most vulnerable areas. Each was selected in a collaborative process guided by a process of Climate and Disaster Risk Assessment (CDRA) in the five partner cities.    

Partner cities
As UN-Habitat expert for urban planning, Thomas Stellmach accompanied the project and provided consultancy and policy recommendations in the fields of urban planning and design.

National partner agencies, UN experts, and local municipalities together developed the National Guide on Climate Resilient Urban Plans and Designs as a reference for practitioners, communities, and institutions.

Toolbox, Tagum

The partnering municipalities strengthened their capacities, particularly regarding achieving climate change adaptation targets by locally implementing climate change adaptation projects.

Workshops with stakeholders


Tagum plans to protect its most vulnerable residents by introducing holistic and integrated urban design solutions with the “Tagumpay Citywalk.”


The city of Ormoc proposed the Ormoc Urban Waterscape.


Legazpi is designing its city to adapt to the impacts of flooding, sea-level rise, and increasing urban temperatures.

Cagayan de Oro City

Cagayan de Oro City plans to create urban-friendly green spaces by transforming vacant spaces into climate-adaptive recreational areas through Project LUNHAW.

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