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REPORT: Sheltering From a Gathering Storm: Temperature Resilience in Pakistan

Pakistan is the second largest country in South Asia and the fifth most populous in the world. According to the Task Force on Urban Development (2011), the total population of the country reached 173.5 million in 2010, with the urban population reaching 36.3% of the total. If dense peri-urban settlements (and those above 5,000 inhabitants) outside municipal boundaries are also counted as urban, the current urbanization density is assessed at 50%. These economically promising urban areas of Pakistan are exposed to multiple natural hazards, including cyclones, floods, droughts, intense rainfall, and earthquakes. Threats to water, food, and energy security, as well as the vulnerability of coastal areas and an increased risk of extreme events, have been declared as the most serious concerns for Pakistan

This inside story, Sheltering From a Gathering Storm: Temperature Resilience in Pakistan, explores the economic impact of temperature on shelter, the fastest growing segment in the rapidly growing cities of Pakistan. It provides insights into the economic and nonfinancial returns of adaptive, resilient shelter designs that take into consideration hazards such as typhoons, flooding, and temperature increases.

Key messages:

  • Climate change will seriously impact urban areas in Pakistan.
  • Increases in the temperature minimums and heat index need greater attention.
  • The T-min is the most important variable for shelter design.
  • Heat impacts vary by gender and occupation.
  • Temperature increases will make cities unaffordable for the poor.
  • New T-min heat reduction measures are needed.
  • Several passive technologies for heat reduction have been proven effective.
  • Concrete is unsuitable for heat resilient housing.
  • Greater awareness of heat reduction measures is needed.
  • Heat is not the only problem affecting poor communities.

Sheltering From a Gathering Storm is a two-year project supported by CDKN targeting peri-urban areas in India, Vietnam and Pakistan to identify practical solutions for resilient shelters and the long-term economic returns of investing in such shelter structures, focussing on cities facing risks from typhoons, flooding and extreme heat.

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