CityLinks Opportunity for U.S. Cities and Counties

CityLinks invites U.S. cities and counties experienced in climate change adaptation strategies to apply by February 28 for a partnership with two Southeast Asian cities facing the same challenge.

ARTICLE | Feb 12, 2014
Southeast Asian representatives present the climate-related challenges their communities face.

ICMA’s CityLinks program seeks U.S. cities and counties that are implementing innovative solutions to climate change adaptation challenges to partner with Southeast Asian cities over an eight-month period. These challenges are of two types: (1) physical/environmental issues and (2) management and governance issues.

In partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), CityLinks will facilitate pilot partnerships for two cities in the ASEAN region following the successful Climate Leadership Academy (CLA), which took place in August 2013 and engaged eight cities from the region. At the conclusion of the Academy, the participating cities created action plans that outlined steps they would take to address climate change adaptation challenges in their communities. Based on these action plans and a follow-up survey, two cities will be selected to collaborate with U.S. counterpart cities that have faced and tackled similar challenges. 


If you believe your community could provide support to a city in Southeast Asia facing both technical service delivery and governance challenges in the context of addressing climate change adaptation, please review the information below. When matching partner cities, ICMA will consider the following:

  • Commitment from the city to participate in and host professional exchanges
  • Population and geographic profiles
  • Experience addressing climate change adaptation through the restoration of urban ecosystems (this might include use of urban green spaces, storm water management systems, and/or urban forestry)
  • Use of scientific models or other decision-making tools to inform policies related to climate change adaptation (this could include, but is not limited to, sea level rise projections, flood mapping, and/or spatial planning tools)
  • Effective community outreach practices that engage a range of stakeholders, including underserved populations
  • Proven governance models that have successfully mainstreamed climate change adaptation across sectors.


An initial assessment trip is planned for the second half of April 2014. Ideally, ICMA would request a leader/decision maker from the U.S. community to accompany the ICMA team to the selected Southeast Asian partner city. During the visit, the team will assess the climate conditions and challenges in the partner city and identify a menu of potential projects that would be responsive to the host city’s challenges. This initial trip is expected to be 7 to 10 days with travel time. ICMA will cover all travel related expenses.

Following the assessment visit, the U.S. and Southeast Asian partners will choose a project for implementation, create an action plan with well-defined goals, and implement the project through a series of exchanges. The team of 4-5 individuals from the Southeast Asian city will first travel to the U.S. city to see first-hand how the U.S. city has approached its climate-related challenges. This trip is tentatively scheduled for June 2014. Later in the year, a staff member from the U.S. partner city will be chosen to participate in the exchange trip to the Southeast Asian city, tentatively scheduled for September.

As part of this program, two professionals from your local government will be invited to complete a technical exchange in the Southeast Asian partner city. In return, your community will be expected to provide technical and logistical support to the Southeast Asian participants while they are in your city. ICMA will cover all travel and lodging costs for all participants.


The questions below are designed to help ICMA better understand the type of experience you and your community can provide to a Southeast Asian community facing climate adaptation challenges.  Please send your response to Jessica Cho ( along with a letter from the leader/decision maker in your community who will participate in the initial assessment trip. The response should include the following:

  • Description of your community, including geographic and demographic information
  • How you feel your community could provide support to a Southeast Asian city
  • Your community’s experience with climate change adaptation
  • Innovative approaches to both the technical and governance aspects of climate change adaptation
  • Experience working with international cities
  • Your community’s commitment to the design and management of a targeted city-to-city exchange

Please submit documents by February 28, 2014, to Jessica Cho at For more information about the program, please contact Jessica Cho at (202) 962-3574.

To learn more about CityLinks, visit the website and the Notes from CityLinks blog, follow us on Twitter at @ICMACityLinks, and join the climate change discussion in the Climate Preparedness, Adaptation, and Resilience group on the Knowledge Network. Visit ICMA International’s site for additional information on ICMA’s other global projects.


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