Building Resilience

Urban resilience is the starting point for a sustainable urban future


City Resilience Global Programme

We are UN-Habitat’s technical partners for urban resilience; we help cities increase their resilience by diagnosing the state of their urban system, driving actions, sharing and building knowledge for policy making.


We calibrate urban systems

We partner with the local government to diagnose the resilience of the urban system and recommend actions to reduce stresses, and prepare for shocks, with a multistakeholder, multidimensional risk and intersectional approach.

Local governments can prepare their urban systems for shocks, and reduce internal stresses to overcome challenges. They drive resilience and sustainable development by engaging with multiple stakeholders.

With The City Resilience Global Programme, local governments identify barriers to resilience and opportunities to strengthen the urban system. With contextualised data, we determine priorities and define, with other urban actors, the most impactful actions for building resilience and sustainability.

The City Resilience Global Programme provides knowledge for policymaking by profiling cities, diagnosing urban systems, and recommending actions that integrate multiple stakeholders and build upon existing policies and plans.

We Calibrate

We advocate globally

We raise our voice for urban resilience and enable the connection of cities, people, knowledge, capabilities and technology to move to resilience together.

  • Do you want to build resilience and take action for the Sustainable Development Goals?
  • Are you part of a local, regional or national government, international organisation, network organisation, academia, private sector, media channel aiming to implement the New Urban Agenda?
  • Are you an artist or a person wishing to build sustainable communities?

We would like to partner with you!


We create partnerships to:

1. Give policy advice and implement the City Resilient Profile Tool to diagnose urban systems' performance and recommend actions for resilience and sustainability.
2. Support city-to-city partnership on resilience building.
3. Collaborate with local governments and urban actors on projects that build urban resilience.
4. Foster research and create knowledge on urban resilience.
5. Raise our voice and advocate for a resilient urban future.


We are part of a network

UN-Habitat’s urban resilience work is supported both substantively and financially by a number of partners. We also contribute to a number of communities of practice and networks to raise the resilience agenda globally, including:

We Advocate

What is?

Urban Resilience
Multidimensional Risk Lens
Multistakeholder Lens
Intersectional Multisectoral Lens

Urban Resilience

Resilience is the ability of individuals, communities, cities, institutions, systems and societies to prevent, resist, absorb, adapt, respond and recover positively, efficiently and effectively when faced with a wide range of risks, while maintaining an acceptable level of functioning without compromising the future.

Resilience at a city level recognises the urban area as a dynamic and complex system that must continually adapt to various challenges in an integrated and holistic manner. Building resilient cities is a quality of sustainable urban development, as much as a driver of development itself.

Urban resilience refers to the ability of cities and other human settlements to resist and recover from shocks and stresses, while undergoing a transformation into more sustainable urban systems. A resilient city assesses, plans and acts to prepare for and respond to all hazards, whether sudden or slow-onset, expected or unexpected.

Multidimensional Risk Lens

Covid-19 caused a health crisis that rapidly escalated into a socio-economical crisis. Similarly, climate emergencies and other shocks affect multiple systems of the city after striking. Chronic stresses within the urban system, like gender and income gap or lack of housing, determine the severity of the impact and the ability of the city to resist and recover faster and better.

A multidimensional risk lens facilitates governance and decision-making processes by giving local governments a holistic view of the vulnerabilities of the urban system. Knowing the most pressing challenges and identifying areas of strength and opportunities provides a base for creating a resilient roadmap that is incorporated into urban development strategies and existing management processes.

Multistakeholder Lens

Only by partnering with other stakeholders operating in the city and mobilising all urban actors can local governments adapt and transform complex urban systems for building resilience and driving sustainable development.

Through a resilience lens, local governments see the role and relationships of the different institutions and organisations acting in the city, mapping their influence in each urban element, shock and stress.

Mapping stakeholders helps local government promote open communication, facilitate integrative collaborations and ensure the continuity of governance, economy, health and other functions and flows upon which its inhabitants rely.

Intersectional multisectoral lens

Long histories of violence, systematic discrimination, inadequate waste management, air pollution, and lack of affordable housing are chronic stresses that create barriers across multiple sectors of the urban system. Building resilience requires developing sound policies and actions that give people rights and equal opportunities and impact health, economy, food, education, security, justice, and other sectors.

With an intersectional multisectoral lens, local governments see the linkages between chronic and ongoing dynamic pressures that undermine the urban system and its people, rendering them fragile and vulnerable. When local governments identify the cultural, physical, and socio-economic barriers that hinder people from having access to urban systems, they can determine which actions build resilience with the greatest impact on people, assets and urban processes.


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