Innovation is one of the first things that come to mind when talking about Barcelona, Spain. This innovative spirit is also observed in Barcelona’s resilience journey, which started in 2009 after a series of critical episodes tested the city’s capacity to respond and recover. Since the beginning of the journey, the municipality understood urban resilience as a leading element for building sustainability and improving the lives of all inhabitants and a process that requires multisectoral coordination and collaboration from the multiple actors of the city.

A key milestone of Barcelona’s resilience journey was establishing a formal collaboration with UN-Habitat. The alliance was conceived with the intention to develop a methodology that could be proven both in theory and in practice. Barcelona offered itself as a pilot city. The City Resilience Profiling Tool is the result of the alliance that, after seven years of implementation, keeps evolving to adapt to different realities and cities. Barcelona not only played an essential role in the pioneering initiative to develop the complete methodology but also contributed to the calibration of the tool by supporting other cities (i.e. Maputo, Mozambique, Dakar, Senegal) through peer-to-peer collaboration during the implementation process.

Image: Plaça de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain © Aimur Kytt.

Now, with a track record incorporating resilience across different policy areas, Barcelona supports other cities in building resilience and sustainability. Through the City Resilience Global Programme (CRGP), the municipality of Barcelona and UN-Habitat keep on working closely to implement the City Resilience Profiling Tool in cities across the world. Through this process, Barcelona has become a global reference in the field. Recently, Barcelona was selected by UNDRR as one of the first cities to become a Resilience Hub for climate and disaster risk reduction, highlighting the city’s commitment and global cooperation on resilience and its efforts in mentoring other policymakers.

The CRPT provides cities with a robust and tested tool that enables local governments to apply the resilience lens in urban decision making and action.

From a pilot city to a champion city of urban resilience worldwide, the insightful experience of Barcelona is shared in the new report: Resilience Profile Barcelona.

The report also details how the resilience process in the city has resulted in the calibration and progressive adjustments of the City Resilience Global Programme methodology and the City Resilience Profiling, making them more efficient and effective to apply. The report provides findings, discoveries, and recommendations to the city of Barcelona that are of global interest.

The transformative work pioneered in the city of Barcelona is essential to promoting a shift from a reactive urban culture to a proactive one. It should pave the way for other cities to explore and lead their own urban resilience journey.