Hundreds of millions of urban dwellers in low- and middle-income nations are at risk from the direct and indirect impacts of climate change (Satterhwaite 2007). Worldwide, there has been a rapid growth in the number of people seriously impacted by climate induced hazards and also in the amount of economic damage caused (Dodman 2009). African cities are not exempt to these natural disruptions. In fact severe weather events are expected to increase in the continent. Climatic threats ranging from flood, sea level rise and decrease in river basin and water availability are predicted to have negative effects on the human, economic and environmental assets of populations. The CLUVA project (Climate Change and Urban Vulnerability in Africa), an EU funded program with focus on environment and climate change aims at developing context-centered methods to assess vulnerability and increase knowledge on managing climate related risks. CLUVA brings together the knowledge of eight European institutions and five African Universities. The research team is composed of experts in climate change, vulnerability, risk management, urban planning and sociology. This multidisciplinary consortium works in close collaboration on selected cities to propose innovative resilience strategies for Africa. In case study cities such as Dar es Salaam features of vulnerability are rather dynamic, context-dependent and manifest themselves in different ways. Identified unplanned settlements in Dar es Salaam city are often flooded due to natural and anthropological factors which pose serious challenges to local communities, municipal and city authorities. Part of building the capacity of scientists and local institutions in CLUVA is to place attention towards understanding the vulnerability of populations and identifying local-based adaptation measures that can be included in broader strategic responses to prevent present and future threats. Field trips taken in several locations and exchanges with locals have shown that the risk people face has different degree depending on their capacities and their access to resources. While poor constructions, location in flood prone areas and limited accessibility among other conditions are signs linked to physical vulnerability, some social arrangements witnessed in Dar es Salaam in the form of family support groups, and micro-financing systems appear to be a determinant form of social wealth that may serve as an indicator of capacity and resilience. Hence there is a necessity to develop an understanding of vulnerability and an assessment procedure that allows capturing the complex, embedded and nuanced manifestations of vulnerability in African urban contexts. Vulnerability is co-produced in everyday interactions among residents, local authorities and their environment. This implies that vulnerability as well as adaptive capacity need to be more contextualized at different levels and integrated to different planning and education instances.