2Nd Phase Of The City Resilience Profiling Programme
Urban planning, spatial and strategic development programmes, international aid organization programmes, international finance and private sector organizations currently focus the majority of their strategies on the basis of analysing specific risks, and investing in mitigation or reduction projects and programmes addressing those risks. While reasonably effective for specific threats, this approach is largely palliative, i.e. defining risk, and retro-fitting remedial measures to reduce it. However, there is no means to test the efficacy of these remedial efforts until another disaster occurs that meets or exceeds the original design limits.
Many urban risk reduction initiatives address specific hazards. These are usually well-known (or at least well-publicized), and more recently since the ‘climate change agenda' has become a global, well-funded, and extremely well-articulated agenda including city strategies to cope with a range of climate-driven threats and mitigating their impact on the global climate. However, approaches often ignore other hazards including the largest killers such as earthquakes and tsunamis, as well as automobile accidents, fires and industrial or technological disasters, and social and political crisis.
The closest approximation of a tool for building resilience is the UN-ISDR's 10 point checklist associated with their Making Cities Resilient (MCR) global Campaign. However, recent testing of this framework reveals its primary weaknesses which derive from a framework of principles that are self-assessed by local governments, and self-driven with no clear standards that planners, engineers, architects, economists, and other experts who manage cities can target and use. The results are qualitative in nature, and while clearly a good foundation for advocating the resilience agenda globally, will demand further strategies and tools to ensure cities actually do become measurably more resilient.
While some developments focusing on multi-hazard approaches, such as the one above, are emerging, to date there is no system for defining forward-looking, integrated, multi-hazard, multi-stakeholder urban systems approach to planning and developing urban settlements capacity to withstand and recover from crisis, i.e. achieving measurable resilience.
The URIP fills a significant sustainable development planning and implementation gap at a time when cities are assuming ever-increasing local, regional, national and global socio-economic significance.
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