As part of the project’s capacity development, the first in a series of training workshops on Climate Resilient Urban Planning and Design was held for Legazpi City, one of the five partner cities, on 9–10 November 2017.

Capital of Albay province, Legazpi is the Bicol region’s economic and political center. Hosting one of the largest airports in the region, Legazpi is also an important hub connecting Luzon and the Visayas.

While 70 percent of Legazpi remains rural and agricultural, the city has experienced rapid urbanization in recent decades. The city’s topography makes it susceptible to serious flooding and typhoons, as well as volcanic and seismic activity particularly from Mount Mayon, an active volcano that has erupted several times since 1984. Many of these natural hazard risks are expected to be exacerbated by climate change.

Legazpi was therefore chosen as one of the five partner cities in the BCRUPD project given its unique set of challenges in dealing with climate change vulnerabilities and disaster risks, as well as other crucial criteria.

In the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) from 2008, Legazpi’s stated mission was to promote economic growth and sustainable development in the city, and to provide effective and efficient delivery of basic services under a climate of social justice with the active participation of all sectors of the community.

The first city workshop was an opportunity for the participants from local government units to acquire initial information on and an understanding of the project and specific scoping of the city. Over the two workshop days, presenters from the UN-Habitat project team gave an overview of urban systems and climate change related project terminology. Training activities challenged the participants to map out the city’s development trends and issues in relation to the BCRUPD objectives. Equally important to the workshop outputs, participants provided their insights on their Local Climate Change Action Plan (LCCAP).