“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.