There is an urgent need to review and improve the means for funding adaptation to climate change in urban areas. This paper examines international, national and municipal mechanisms for financing adaptation, and reveals the systemic barriers that prevent money being channelled into the hands of low-income and highly vulnerable urban residents in low- and middle-income countries, and hinder effective urban adaptation. At the same time, a number of highly organised, pro-poor, locally managed funds are being pioneered across a number of cities in low- and middle-income countries. Bottom-up planning and decision-making is emerging as a potential complement to the ineffective top-down financing models, and offers a viable approach to bridge the gap between low-income urban residents and the agencies that claim to support them.
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