C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) is located in the delta area of the Saigon and Dong Nai rivers. It is Vietnam’s largest city and an important economic, trade, cultural and research centre, both within the country, and in South- East Asia. HCMC has a diversified topography, ranging from mainly agricultural and rural areas in the north to a widespread sys- tem of rivers, canals and dense mangrove forest to the south. The urban areas are located approximately 50km (31.1 miles) inland from the Pacific Ocean.

Similar to other evolving mega-cities in South-East Asia, Ho Chi Minh City has experienced rapid changes in recent decades. The city’s population has more than doubled from 3.9 million in 1989 to approximately 8 million inhabitants in 2010. The regional economy has continuously grown with double-digit growth rates and HCMC contributes nearly 30 per cent to the national GDP and received 37 per cent of total foreign direct investments in 2009.

Jakarta, Indonesia


Jakarta, with 9.6 million inhabitants in 2010 and an estimated 10.2 million in 2014, is the largest city of Indonesia and its capital. Jakarta is located in a lowland area with a relatively flat topography in the delta of several rivers, the main one being the Ciliwung River. Due to its naturally flood-prone location, the city has a long history of both coastal and riverine flooding.

Through the Spatial Plan 2030, Jakarta Water Management Strategy 2030 and Climate Adaptation Road Map for 2030, Jakarta aims to promote a safe and sustainable city. A key element is prevention or reduction of annual floods, which are caused by sea-level rise, storm surges and land subsidence, but also by insufficient flow and infiltration capacity of Jakarta’s watercourses (due to illegal waste disposal clogging and insufficient blue-green networks). This is why Jakarta launched the Socially Inclusive Climate Adaptation for Urban Revitalization Project (USD1.3 billion to be invested over 2012-2017) that aims to relocate close to 400,000 illegal squatters from riverbanks and nearby reservoirs, within "a humanized and participative process".

The BIG U - New York City

New York

Lower Manhattan, New York City is home to approximately 220,000 people. This area contains some of the largest central business districts in the country, which are at the core of an economy with an annual GDP of approximately $500 billion, influencing economic activity throughout the world. More than 52 million visitors annually come to Lower Manhattan to see sites as the 9/11 memorial, Wall Street, Battery Park and take ferries to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The Lower Manhattan area also contains 35,000 affordable housing units, many of which were hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, and over 94,000 of the residents in this area are low-income, elderly, and/or disabled. The most vulnerable of the population live along the East River.

Following the devastating impacts of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the city was challenged to create protection for Lower Manhattan to ensure that New York City’s financial district and other key infrastructure can operate during and after a storm while maintaining and enhancing, local residents’ connection to the waterfront. Flood protection would be designed to enhance everyday life and address existing social, economic and health challenges.

Rotterdam – Creating an Office of Resilience


Rotterdam, Netherlands is a City located in Southern Holland. The municipal population of 620,000 is split into 14 boroughs, governed centrally by a city council, currently headed by Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb. Rotterdam has achieved a high level of success in developing best-in-class climate adaptation and water management strategies to address the threats of sea-level rise and pluvial flooding inherent in their unique geography and morphology. The City is currently striving to link these achievements with strategies for addressing other risks and in particular emerging social cohesion challenges.

Addressing the shocks and stresses with innovative and integrated solutions required a new direction and vision for resilience that would build off of the City’s recognized leadership in water and climate risk resilience.