Cities have always faced risks, and many cities that have existed for centuries have demonstrated their resilience in the face of resource shortages, natural hazards, and conflict. In the 21st century, global pressures that play out at a city scale − such as climate change, disease pandemics, economic fluctuations, and terrorism − pose new challenges. The scale of urban risk is increasing due to the number of people living in cities. Risk is also increasingly unpredictable due to the complexity of city systems and the uncertainty associated with many hazards
City resilience describes the capacity of cities to function, so that the people living and working in cities – particularly the poor and vulnerable – survive and thrive no matter what stresses or shocks they encounter.
BS 67000 is a source of guidance on how cities can organise, prioritise, plan, deliver and increasingly improve their resilience.
It covers how local authorities, communities and other organisations can collaborate, both strategically and at the operational level, to reconcile objectives, priorities, programmes, investment and activities to build resilience at the urban scale.
It defines key concepts and terms, and sets out a general framework for citizens, businesses and government that assists the prioritisation, integration and development of local strategies and plans. A resilient city is a city where there is:
1. Minimal human vulnerability Indicated by the extent to which everyone’s basic needs are met. 2. Diverse livelihoods and employment Facilitated by access to finance, ability to accrue savings, skills training, business support and social welfare.
3. Effective safeguards to human health and life Relying on integrated health facilities and services, and responsive emergency services.
4. Collective identity and community support Observed as active community engagement, strong social networks and social integration.
5. Comprehensive security and rule of law Including law enforcement, crime prevention, justice, and emergency management.
6. Sustainable economy Observed as sound financial management, diverse revenue streams, the ability to attract business investment, adequate investment, and emergency funds.
7. Reduced exposure and fragility Indicated by environmental stewardship; appropriate infrastructure; effective land use planning; and enforcement of planning regulations.
8. Effective provision of critical services Indicated by diverse provision and active management; maintenance of ecosystems and infrastructure; and contingency planning
9. Reliable communications and mobility Indicated by diverse and affordable multi modal transport systems and information and communication technology (ICT) networks; and contingency planning.
10. Effective leadership and management Involving government, business and civil society, and indicated by trusted individuals; multi-stakeholder consultation; and evidence based decision-making.
11. Empowered stakeholders Indicated by education for all, and access to up-to-date information and knowledge to enable people and organisations to take appropriate action.
12.Integrated development planning Indicated by the presence of a city vision; an integrated development strategy; and plans that are regularly reviewed and updated by cross departmental working groups.
The benefits of a Resilient City
The stability and agility to thrive in the face of uncertainty. The big picture to identify, quantify, prioritise and manage vulnerabilities. A benchmark against which leaders can report during their term. Reputation protection, demonstrating that due diligence has been performed and best practice applied to manage city risks. A more rounded business case for investment in city services and infrastructures. A means of attracting people and business to the city. Better collaboration and understanding between departments, which results in solutions that sustain and maximise benefits across multiple agencies. An empowered society that becomes engaged and part of the solution