Building Resilience in Peripheral Cities, Santa Ana Leads the Way


September 26th, 2019

Identifying stresses, shocks and challenges for better urban governance

The national association of local governments of Costa Rica (UNGL) is a champion of resilient development and disaster risk reduction. To strengthen their efforts, the association is collaborating with the largest global network of local governments, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), and UN-Habitat to lead a pilot project in the city of Santa Ana.

Under the leadership of the vice-mayor of Santa Ana, Laura Carmiol, the municipality has committed to developing a resilience profile based on UN-Habitat’s resilience methodology, the City Resilience Profiling Tool. The application of the tool will help establish a city-wide vision for resilience and a set of actionable and prioritised actions through a process of data collection, stakeholder consultation and analysis. Esteban Leon (UN-Habitat, City Resilience Programme), affirmed that, “all partners are convinced that the project in Santa Ana will serve as a pilot for other periphery and intermediary cities.” 

This project is part of UCLG and UN-Habitat’s strategic collaboration to assist municipalities increase their resilience through learning tools and awareness raising efforts. By doing so, the two organisations are contributing to the localization of the Sendai Framework and Agenda 2030 in all territories.

A first technical visit from UN-Habitat and UCLG took place from the 15th to the 20th of September. Cristian Decormis, Resilience Expert with UN-Habitat and Raphael Sedlitzky from UCLG Learning traveled to Santa Anta to work with municipal staff and partners on data collection. All inputs will help build the resilience profile of the municipality in a process linked closely to UN-Habitat’s support to the cities of Asuncion and Maputo. Field visits were also organized during the week to see first-hand areas of the municipality where the most pressing stresses and shocks are visible. In a final meeting, next steps and priorities for the resilience analysis were developed using a participatory approach.

As an innovative partnership between local government network, national association of local governments and UN-Habitat, this experience along with the findings will be presented at the forthcoming UCLG World Summit in Durban.

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