Strategies for Urban Resiliency
Our cities are changing as the world does. Climate change, urbanisation, and globalisation all place new stress on urban environments, requiring the growth of resilient cities that can adapt to these new challenges. Cities that are resilient are those that are built to withstand shocks and stresses, recover quickly from disasters, and adapt to changing conditions.
So, how do we create urban resiliency? Here are some key strategies to consider:
Identify and address vulnerabilities
Identifying threats is the first step in building urban resilience. This could include flood-prone areas, buildings that are not earthquake-resistant, or communities at risk due to poverty, crime, or other factors. These risks can be addressed once they have been identified. This could include creating flood walls and retrofitting buildings to make them earthquake-resistant. Another way is by providing economic opportunities to communities at risk (Worldbankgroup.org, 2019).
Figure 1: stages to ensuring a resilient environment (Worldbankgroup.org, 2019)
Foster community engagement
Resilient cities are those that include the community in decision-making. This means working with residents, businesses, and community organisations to identify needs and priorities, as well as developing solutions that are helpful to all. Community involvement can also help in the formation of social networks, which can be important during times of crisis (Martino, 2023).
Build a strong infrastructure
Infrastructure is necessary for achieving urban resilience. Building transportation systems that can survive extreme weather events, upgrading water and sewage systems to prevent contamination, or investing in renewable energy sources that can provide power during blackouts are all examples of this. Cities can withstand shocks and stress better if they have a strong infrastructure.
Develop emergency plans and response mechanisms
Cities must be ready for emergencies in order to be resilient. This means developing emergency response plans and methods that can be activated quickly and effectively. This could include creating emergency shelters, creating evacuation plans, and investing in emergency response teams (Martino, 2023).
Promote sustainable development
Sustainable development can help greatly in achieving urban resilience. This means creating cities in a way that is economically viable, socially just, and environmentally sustainable. This might require funding green infrastructure, promoting environmentally friendly transportation, and building affordable housing.
Figure 2: infographic taken from GFDRR in collaboration with WORLD BANK GROUP (Gfdrr.org, 2022)
Creating urban resilience is a hard but necessary task. We can create cities that are better prepared to handle shocks and stresses. This can be done by identifying vulnerabilities, encouraging community engagement, designing a strong infrastructure, developing emergency plans, and promoting sustainable development. By taking these steps, we can ensure that our cities and the people who live in them have a sustainable future.
Figure 1: Worldbankgroup.org. (2019). Building Urban Resilience: An Evaluation of the World Bank Group’s Evolving Experience (2007-2017). [online] Available at: https://ieg.worldbankgroup.org/evaluations/urban-resilience [Accessed 14 Mar. 2023].
Figure 2: Gfdrr.org. (2022). Investing in Urban Resilience: Infographic | GFDRR. [online] Available at: https://www.gfdrr.org/en/investing-urban-resilience-infographic [Accessed 14 Mar. 2023].
Worldbankgroup.org. (2019). Building Urban Resilience: An Evaluation of the World Bank Group’s Evolving Experience (2007-2017). [online] Available at: https://ieg.worldbankgroup.org/evaluations/urban-resilience [Accessed 18 Feb. 2023].
Ribeiro, P.J.G. and Pena Jardim Gonçalves, L.A. (2019). Urban resilience: A conceptual framework. Sustainable Cities and Society, [online] 50, p.101625. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scs.2019.101625.
Leichenko, R. (2011). Climate change and urban resilience. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, [online] 3(3), pp.164–168. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2010.12.014.
Martino, G. (2023). What is Urban Resiliency? [online] ArchDaily. Available at: https://www.archdaily.com/991764/what-is-urban-resiliency [Accessed 18 Feb. 2023].