URBAN
RESILIENCE
HUB

What is urban resilience?

The measurable ability of any urban system, with its inhabitants, to maintain continuity through all shocks and stresses, while positively adapting and transforming toward sustainability. From earthquakes to flooding, rapid immigration to cyber-attacks, all cities face a range of shocks and stresses, natural and human-made. Today, cities and city inhabitants are facing additional and amplified challenges as a result of rapid urbanization, a changing climate and political instability, among others.
more
×

What is Urban Resilience?

 

“the measurable ability of any urban system, with its inhabitants, to maintain continuity through all shocks and stresses, while positively adapting and transforming toward sustainability.”

 

From earthquakes to flooding, rapid immigration to cyber-attacks, all cities face a range of shocks and stresses, natural and human-made. Today, cities and city inhabitants are facing additional and amplified challenges as a result of rapid urbanization, a changing climate and political instability, among others.

 

“A resilient city assesses, plans and acts to prepare for and respond to all hazards – sudden and slow-onset, expected and unexpected.”

 

By doing so, resilient cities are better able to protect and enhance people’s lives, secure development gains, foster an investible environment, and drive positive change.

Unplanned cities are more vulnerable to shock as they often have pre-existing stresses. In cities that are not prepared or unable to recover, shocks can intensify existing stresses or even create a cascade of negative impact that compromise city functionality and put people at risk.

Risks are increasing and so is the urban population, urban resilience has therefore gained greater prominence over the past decade in international development discourse and has emerged as one of the core principles of sustainable urban development in the global development frameworks and targets, including:

  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • New Urban Agenda
  • Paris Agreement on Climate Change
  • Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.


New York, with 8.5 million people, heading for a sustainable future

By Maimunah Mohd Sharif Executive
read more

Food for thought

×

New York, with 8.5 million people, heading for a sustainable future

New York has long been considered a pioneer – in fashion, art, music, and food, just to name a few. Now this city of 8.5 million is leading a shift in how we tackle today’s toughest global challenges like climate change, education, inequality, and poverty.

These issues are at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals, an agenda agreed by all nations in 2015 that chart a path for people, prosperity, and the planet. This July, New York is joining countries at the United Nations to report on its progress and to share experiences, becoming the first city to do so.

It makes good sense for New York and other cities to spearhead progress on these global goals – including the need for decent housing, public transport, green spaces and clean air.

More than half of the world’s 7 billion people currently live in cities, and by 2050 that number will be closer to 70%. By 2030, there will be over 700 cities with more than a million inhabitants.

Urban growth is happening fastest in developing countries, which often struggle to meet the demand for quality municipal services and have little experience in planning. Rapid growth can also push up the prices of housing and energy, and can increase pollution, threatening the health and well-being of millions.

Cities are also financial powerhouses, generating 82% of global GDP, yet they also account for 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions, use 80% of the world’s energy, and generate over 1 billion tonnes of waste per year.

Inequality within cities on issues like income, health, and education are also a big challenge.

Cities are a fulcrum for sustainable development worldwide and crucible for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Unleashing the power of cities to help solve global challenges means linking local plans to national plans, and also to global agendas.

Cities are already showing how to lead by example on one of our most pressing global challenges: climate change.

The global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy is an alliance of cities and local governments working to combat climate change and move to a low-emission and resilient society. This group has commitments from over 9,000 cities and local governments from 6 continents and 127 countries.

The Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco this September is another example of how cities, as well as states, regions, companies and citizens, are coming together to show how every group can do something and accelerate action.

Which brings us back to New York. Cities are on the frontlines of nearly every global challenge we currently face, and they need to be at the center of our strategy to solve them. The urban development of yesterday will not suffice.

By using the Sustainable Development Goals as their guide, New York is showing how cities can adapt their plans to mirror development plans, allowing them to grow in the most sustainable way possible while creating policies for the things people living in cities need.

Things like jobs, affordable housing, good education, quality health care, clean air and good waste management, just to name a few. Getting cities right can provide opportunities to address poverty, migration, employment and pollution.

We invite all cities to join New York and help lead the way in planning for a shared and sustainable future that benefits all people of the world.

Originally published in Inter Press Services

Maimunah Mohd Sharif Executive
Executive Director of the UN-Habitat

Resilience Pills

Resilient Cities Series: Full interview with Mayor of Yakutsk (Russia)

The metropolitan scale of Resilience

Building Urban Resilience in Maputo

Talking Resilience with staff from Maputo City Council

Resilient Cities Series: Full interview with Mayor of Maputo

Resilient Cities Series: Interview with Mayor of Asuncion, Mario Ferreiro

Yakutsk mayor interview

New Urban Agenda Interview Corner - Dan Lewis (UN-Habitat)

New Urban Agenda Interview Corner - Christin Kristoffersen (Arctic Cities)

Urban Resilience Hub by UN-Habitat

Sembrando Resiliencia

Ron Dembo - Citizen Roles in Resilient Cities

Entrevista a Amaia Celaya

'We Live Here Together' - A short film about creating a sustainable & inclusive urban future

Local Government Resilience Programme Jordan

Cape Town Drought - Alderman Ian Neilson, Executive Deputy Mayor City of Cape Town

Principles for co-production

Mayor of Maputo, David Simango, on city-to-city cooperation

Barcelona facing climate change

Interview: Esteban Leon on Development-Humanitarian nexus

Shocks and stresses on the sustainability of settlements

UN-Habitat Executive Director on resilience

SDG11 Progress 2018

Barcelona's Climate Plan with Irma Ventayol, Barcelona City Council [ENG]

+
more on our YT channel

Partnerships

We forge partnerships with all the major actors working on urban resilience, including donors, local governments and their networks, humanitarian organizations, UN agencies and academia. One of our chief aims is to bring more cohesion and understanding around urban resilience thinking, in particular to local governments across the world. Partnerships therefore represent a significant advancement toward achieving that goal.
Medellin Collaboration
for Urban Resilence
Global Alliance
for Urban Crises
RESCCUE
Risk Nexus
Initiative
Urban Resilience Institute
Making Cities Resilient
Campaign
×
×

The Agenda

×

Careers

All vacancies are posted on the UN’s recruitment portal, INSPIRA. Spontaneous candidacies should be sent here office@cityresilience.org.

UN-Habitat regularly works with volunteering through the Online Volunteering Platform.

For all internship opportunities, please consult the UN’s recruitment portal, INSPIRA.

Consult our Legacy List to find out who has directly supported UN-Habitat’s urban resilience work.


Find our latest vacancies here!


INSPIRA
UNV
×

The Library

Local Governments’ Pocket Guide to Resilience

English2015

Press Kit – French

French2017

Presskit – Spanish

Spanish2018

Progress on MCSR action 1

English2018

Making Cities Sustainable & Resilient

English2018

Climate Action Enhancer

English2018

Gender Equality Enhancer

English2018

Guide to the City Resilience Profiling Tool

English2018

Urban Resilience Flyer

English2017

Press Kit

English2017

2017’s Highlights

English2017

City Resilience Profiling Programme volume 8

English

City Resilience Profiling Programme volume 7

English

City Resilience Profiling Programme volume 6

English

City Resilience Profiling Programme volume 5

English

City Resilience Profiling Programme World Urban Forum

English 2014

City resilience profiling programme Volume 3

English 2014

City Resilience Profiling Programme Volume 2

English2013

City Resilience Profiling Programme

English2012

How Resilient is your City

English2017

City Resilience Profiling Program – Volume 9

English2017

City Resilience Profiling Programme – Habitat III Special Edition

English2017

City Resilience Profiling Programe – Volume 11

English2017

Trends in Urban Resilience 2017

English2017

Contact us

Send

For all inquiries, please contact us at: info@cityresilience.org

Urban Resilience Programme
UN-Habitat
c/Sant Antoni Maria Claret, 167
08025 - Barcelona, Spain

Implementing
With the support of