Urban resilience: can our cities pass the stress test?

Source(s)
Jamaica Observer, the

By Henry J Lewis

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Building resilient cities:

  • Ensure that cities are able to holistically prepare for, withstand, and recover from economic, environmental and social disruptions. Actors should strive for cities that operate on resilient systems; that is, systems (financial, governmental, infrastructural, ecological, societal, etc) that are adaptable, robust, redundant, integrated, inclusive, resourceful, and flexible. Climate adaptability and environmental responsibility are recognised as drivers of sustainable development as well as qualities of it.
  • Ensure that cities address underlying environmental and physical disaster risks before a crisis occurs by investing in a sustainable network of urban systems and human communities that reduce vulnerability to a range of shocks and stresses. In the recovery process, seek ways for urban systems to learn and transform in order to rebuild safer. Humanitarian and development actors can assist to reduce the risk of future crises by facilitating a reconstruction process that engages local neighbourhoods, municipalities, urban planners, and the private sector, among others, at various scales.
  • Ensure that urban resiliency planning includes and empowers the voices of the most vulnerable populations. Give special consideration to the participation of children, women, youth, elderly, and disabled populations in resiliency planning and needs assessments, while recognising their unique risks and vulnerabilities as well as available community-based protection mechanisms.

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