This analysis discusses the role of civil protection and governance structures to increase the resilience of urban populations in Switzerland. In most countries, civil protection is organized through national and regional structures. As a result of the growing importance of urban security issues, the existing systems are coming under pressure to adapt.
This study finds that the horizontal integration of Swiss cities into national or international city networks would increase social resilience. The Swiss Cities Association and the Conference of Municipal Security directors are forums that already exist in Switzerland and could provide a path toward more cross-scale and systematic cooperation in the field of disaster management. International initiatives also provide opportunities for increased networking.
Unlike neighbouring countries where hundreds of cities are already part of the UN initiative “Making Cities Resilient”, in Switzerland, only Geneva and Davos have joined this network. Not only can improvements in vertical and horizontal integration of disaster management practices strengthen the security of urban areas in Switzerland, it can also contribute to Switzerland’s overall social resilience.