Cities and Climate Change

This course focuses on climate change in urban areas, covering how cities are affected by climate change, how they contribute to it, as well as how they plan for it.


SDG11: Sustainable cities and communities
SDG13: Climate action
Climate change
climate adaptation and mitigation measures
climate change
climate change action
private sector
sustainable cities

This specialized module introduces the theme of climate change in urban areas. The world is becoming more and more urban, and therefore cities are important actors in addressing climate change.

The module covers both how cities are affected by climate change and how cities are contributing to climate change. In addition, it looks at how climate change adaptation and mitigation can be considered in urban planning and identify concrete measures. Several examples of how cities can play a transformational role in addressing climate change are presented.

The module has been developed and peer-reviewed through UN CC:Learn (, with technical leadership provided by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat).

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Target Audience

The module provides clear, concise and up-to-date information for anybody interested in obtaining a general understanding of climate change in an urban context. It should be of particular interest to the following audiences:

  • Civil servants in national ministries, provincial departments and local authorities responsible for developing and implementing urban development policies, programmes or projects and/or working on climate change mainstreaming;
  • Managers in the private sector and civil society organizations working on climate change and/or urban development;
  • Faculty, researchers and students; and
  • Interested citizens.

Learning Objectives

After completing this specialized module, participants will be able to:

  • Describe urban trends for the 21st century;
  • Describe the transformative role that cities can play in achieving green and climate-resilient development;
  • Explain how urban areas are affected by, and contribute to, climate change;
  • Explain how climate change adaptation and mitigation can be considered in urban planning;
  • Identify specific adaptation and mitigation measures suitable for urban areas.