Cities, home to 67% of the world’s population by 2050 (DESA, 2012), serve as a double-edged sword in the context of sustainable development. On one hand, they are important engines of economic growth –producing more than 80% of national income today (UNEP, 2012). On the other hand, cities are vulnerable to a number of social and environmental perils, particularly climate change related risks and other natural disasters. Some one billion people currently live in slums, with limited access to basic services (World Bank, 2013), and this number is expected to rise to two billion by 2030 (UN Habitat). Cities account for the vast majority of global energy use, natural resource consumption, green gas emissions and solid waste. Despite the challenges, well managed urban development could give rise to cities more conducive to economic growth and social inclusion, environmentally sustainable and resilient to climate change.