Slum upgrading and climate change adaptation and mitigation: Lessons from Latin America

José Rafael Núñez Collado, Han Hsiang Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Residents of informal settlements are some of the most vulnerable urban groups to the effects of climate change. Different responses have emerged to intervene in these communities and slum upgrading is currently considered the best framework. How slum upgrading interventions engage with climate change adaptation and mitigation is not fully explored in the literature. This article scrutinizes three recent slum upgrading programs in Latin America to uncover the ways these tend to engage or not with climate change adaptation and mitigation. The analysis revealed that slum upgrading is both a policy mechanism to address socio-economic issues and an instrument by which built-environment interventions can enhance adaptation and mitigation in informal settlements. Six key areas emerged from the analysis of the case studies that link slum upgrading to climate change adaptation and mitigation through infrastructure and policies: (1) security of tenure, (2) relocation and barriers, (3) public space, (4) energy-efficient and improved architecture, (5) connectivity, and (6) land management. Slum upgrading can be an effective mechanism that combines mitigation and adaptation efforts whilst addressing sustainable development priorities in disadvantaged territories.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102791
StatePublished - Sep 2020


  • Adaptation and mitigation
  • Climate change
  • Informal settlements
  • Latin America
  • Paris agreement
  • Slum upgrading


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