Globally, 80 per cent of the largest cities are vulnerable to severe impacts from earthquakes, 60 per cent are at risk from storm surges and tsunamis, and all face new impacts caused by climate change. The cost of urban disasters during 2011 alone is estimated at over US $380 billion, with the largest impacts felt in Christchurch, New Zealand; Sendai, Japan; and Bangkok, Thailand.
With 50% of the world’s population already in cities, and substantial urban population growth projected over the coming decades, there is a pressing need for new tools and approaches that strengthen local administrations and citizens to better protect human, economic, and natural assets of our towns and cities. Resilience refers to the ability of human settlements to withstand and to recover quickly from any plausible hazards.
Resilience against crises not only refers to reducing risks and damage from disasters (i.e. loss of lives and assets), but also the ability to quickly bounce back to a stable state. While typical risk reduction measures tend to focus on a specific hazard, leaving out risks and vulnerabilities due to other types of perils, the resilience approach adopts a multiple hazards approach, considering resilience against all types of plausible hazards. UN-Habitat’s goal is to increase the resilience of cities to the impacts of natural and human-made crises. One key pillar of this aim is ensuring that cities are able to withstand and recover quickly from catastrophic events.
|Learn about the City Resilience Profiling Programme|