Cities for a resilient recovery: International lessons on recovery from COVID-19 / 16 July 2020
Produced by The University of Manchester, UK (Professor Duncan Shaw, Dr Jennifer Bealt, and Professor Ruth Boaden) in partnership with the Global Resilient Cities Network (Lina Liakou and Femke Gubbels)
What is the weekly briefing on Cities for a Resilient Recovery?
Each week the University of Manchester brings together relevant international practices and examples on recovery from COVID-19. The weekly briefing is curated by the Global Resilient Cities Network to bring key lessons and examples targeted for resilience officers, emergency planners and other city practitioners. The structure of the briefing follows the City Resilience Framework – specifically the four drivers that cities have been identified as mattering the most when a city faces chronic stresses or sudden shocks - Health and Wellbeing, Economy & Society; Infrastructure & Environment; and Leadership & Strategy.
Highlights of the week
While last week we looked at modern-day slavery and increased worker’s vulnerability, this week we focus on another segment of vulnerable populations who find themselves further at risk due to COVID-19 – victims of human trafficking. Measures to combat COVID-19 such as reduced public health and social services and diversion of law enforcement have led to further exploitation of victims of human trafficking, including children. For women, this includes increased risk of sexual exploitation.
Next, we share a number of considerations on how to support businesses who want to move their operations to street level. With evidence showing that it is safer to be in the open air as opposed to confined indoor spaces, many bars and restaurants re-opening are using streets and pavements to accommodate social distancing, which comes with its own challenges to safety and noise pollution. We also discuss the other looming crisis which we cannot afford to ignore – the climate emergency, and the role local climate leadership can take to boost momentum – building on reduced urban air pollution and increased biodiversity which many cities have witnessed. Critically, preparing for climate impacts needs to be viewed through a holistic resilience lens that examines the connection between future shocks and stresses. If you are looking for a starting point to assess interventions or climate projects, this Sustainability Checklist for policy-makers developed by the World Bank may be a useful place to start.
Lastly, in the section on leadership and strategy we take a step back and put forward some questions on how to assess how your organisation has changed during the pandemic. We heard early on from cities that they were asking themselves what the city had stopped doing because of the pandemic and should not start up again, as well as which activities they started and should continue beyond the pandemic. We offer a few more questions below that can help guide this conversation, both on a municipal organisation and city level.