As result of compounding factors related to environmental, social, economic and political pressures, it is feared that the impacts of climate change and variability may overwhelm resilience of urban systems in developing countries if adaptation and mitigation strategies are not strengthened. Understanding how the urban residents perceive and respond to climate change is necessary for the purpose of formulating informed adaptation and mitigation strategies. This study was designed to assess the level of awareness, knowledge, attitude and mitigation preferences among residents of Nairobi City County. A cross-sectional survey design was adopted where 404 households were selected through random sampling from different administrative villages in Nairobi city. Though majority of the respondents had heard about climate change before, a knowledge gap in understanding specific issues of climate change in cities was evident. Study respondents had a greater understanding of climate change signs and effects that are directly related to weather patterns such as changes in temperatures and rainfall patterns compared to the more complex and indirect environmental issues related to climate change in cities. A similar behavior was observed in the choice and preference for long term climate management strategies. Educational status emerged as top social demographic attribute that influenced respondents’ level of awareness, knowledge, worry and concern towards climate change in cities. In order to build resilience to climate change effects for urban communities, these critical factors must be considered when developing or reviewing policies and programs, and the study suggests for more public awareness programs to boost understanding of these factors among residents of Nairobi.
Key words: Climate change, cross-sectional survey, knowledge, mitigation, preferences and resilience.
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