Assessing climate change risks and contextual vulnerability in urban areas of semi-arid India: the case of Bangalore

The discourse on urban vulnerability over the last decade and a half has undergone substantial shifts prompted by differences in disciplinary orientations. This enables multiple framings and causal linkages, influencing the nature and scale of responses. This paper builds an understanding at the interface of cities and climate change, building on its multiple notions and the underlying risk character, each of which incrementally and over time influences the other. This paper reinstates the multiple climate change- urban linkages, disaggregating it into its various key components through a generic ‘urban risk framework’. It further contextualises this framework in the context of a fast-growing city, Bangalore, in a semi-arid ecosystem to demonstrate the range of risks and vulnerabilities that are both unique and generic to many other Indian cities. The paper argues that the bundle of risks and multi-dimensional vulnerabilities are shaped by geographies of location and growth trajectories. This paper underscores the existence of diverse and complex dimensions of vulnerability – physical, social and institutional and establishes linkages with poor developmental outcomes.