Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2015
Making development sustainable: The future of disaster risk management

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Part III - Chapter 11
a direct influence on future risk levels, on compliance with building codes and planning standards, and on investments in retrofitting, and it can also lead to an enhanced dialogue between the public and private sectors (GAR 13 paperJohnson et al., 2012

GAR13 Reference Johnson, C., I. Adelekan, F. Arefian, L. Bosher, H. Jabeen, S. Kataria, W.A. Marome and B. Zerjav. 2012,Private Sector Investment Decisions in Building and Construction: Increasing, Managing and Transferring Risks, Background Paper prepared for the 2013 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction. Geneva, Switzerland: UNISDR..
Click here to view this GAR paper.
). However, there is only anecdotal evidence that this has occurred.
11.3 Urban risk: the future
Ultimately, the capacity of cities to manage their disaster risks depends on their quality of governance. Some of the most promising developments in recent years are the cases of cities that have been able to regain control of their planning and management and to strengthen their urban governance through innovative partnerships between local governments, households and communities.
Given the volume of capital that will flow into the urban development and infrastructure sectors in the coming decades (UNISDR, 2013a

UNISDR. 2013a,Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction: From Shared Risk to Shared Value: the Business Case for Disaster Risk Reduction, Geneva, Switzerland: UNISDR.. .
), how disaster risk is managed in urban areas will clearly have
a critical impact on whether future disaster risks can be reduced or not. Some 60 per cent of the area expected to be urbanized by 2030 remains to be built. The projected expansion of urban land cover between the years 2000 and 2030 is in the range of 56 to 310 per cent.11 By 2030, an estimated US$25 trillion to US$30 trillion will be invested in new infrastructure, including urban road construction, water and sanitation, energy and transport systems, and buildings. It is expected that roughly US$700 billion a year will be spent on financing new urban infrastructure in low and middle-income countries over this period (UNHabitat, 2014).
Whereas in the last two centuries the largest cities were located in the wealthiest nations, low and middle-income countries are now home to three-quarters of the world’s urban population and have most of its largest cities (IPCC, 2014

IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). 2014,Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, Working Group II. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press.. .
), a reflection of dramatic economic growth and the accompanying changes in social, political and industrial relations and structures (Satterthwaite, 2007

Satterthwaite, David. 2007,The transition to a predominantly urban world and its underpinnings, IIEE Human Settlements Discussion Paper Series. Theme: Urban Change –4.. .
; Sassen, 2012

Sassen, Saskia. 2012,Cities in a World Economy, Thousand Oaks, CL: Sage Publications.. .
Urban centres have always concentrated and will continue to concentrate business and opportunity (Dobbs and Reemes, 2012

Dobbs, Richard and Reemes, Jaana. 2012,Trends, The Shifting Urban Economic Landscape: What Does it Mean for Cities? McKinsey Global Institute. October 2012.. .
)—as well as the accompanying risk. However, much of the
(Source: Alvalá et al., 2014

Alvalá, Regina., Nobre, Carlos and Marckezini, Víctor. 2014,Lições aprendidas com os desastres naturais: a criação de uma estrategia nacional de gestão de riscos no Brasil. .
These areas are highly susceptible to floods and landslides. During the extended rainy season that affected Rio de Janeiro in January 2011, landslides and floods caused more than 900 deaths, 300 people went missing and more than 300,000 people were directly affected in just seven municipalities. Economic losses amounted to US$1.8 billion.9

This has led to a change in how Brazil now approaches disaster risk reduction. In 2011 a cross-sector programme was initiated to discuss challenges and present solutions, resulting in the establishment of the National Centre for Natural Disaster Alert and Monitoring (CEMADEN). CEMADEN reports to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and has five priorities for action: developing early warning and monitoring systems; risk knowledge; reducing the losses and impacts of disasters; communication and education; and support to the civil defence system to strengthen emergency response (ibid.).

Brazil also reports that it has developed measures to manage the underlying risk drivers, such as reducing poverty and real estate speculation. The agenda of disaster risk management is now a priority for several ministries, based on the awareness that disaster is a social process, not an event.
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