November 2018, Barcelona, Spain -  Barcelona Resilience Week (BRW) brought together over 200 participants to discuss how to face the resilience challenges of our time.

The week focused on harnessing the commitment of initiatives such as the Making Cities Sustainable and Resilient action, the Making Cities Resilient Campaign, city-to-city cooperation programmes and good practices from cities, academia, private sector, and civil society, to scale-up resilience action at the global level.

This objective was met and resulted in a growing interest in tools for action such as the UN-Habitat's City Resilience Profiling Tool and and the 10 Essentials from the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).

The six key dialogue sessions addressed major topics: climate action, social resilience, informality, governance, partnerships, and humanitarian crises with expertise from city leaders, academia, international organizations and innovators.

An agreement was signed between Port Vila Municipality, Vanuatu, and UN-Habitat in the presence of the Lord Mayor of Port Vila, Mr. Albert Sandy Daniel. Other city councils also used the opportunity to strengthen their city-to-city collaborations, including Barcelona, Gaza and Maputo.

The Steering Committee of the Making Cities Sustainable Campaign, met shortly before BRW and expressed preliminary commitment to continuing the campaign beyond its 2020 projected end.

The City Perspectives on Resilience Challenges session held jointly by UN-Habitat and the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) network, brought together over 20 city representatives and drew on the local governments’ commitments to improving city functionality and wellbeing. Participants appealed to global organizations such as UN-Habitat and UCLG to provide the necessary tools, guidance and spaces for all cities to build resilience, regardless of size, scale or challenges, and help empower them to fulfill their commitment to global development agendas.

Partner events including a workshop on new challenges organized by the innovation agency, SixFingers a presentation of Guidelines on Housing Reconstruction Post-disaster supported by the French company Axa and the peer review session organized by UNISDR. Site visits organized by Barcelona City Council allowed participants to witness first-hand how the city is addressing a number of resilience challenges.

A recurring theme was how to reach those cities with the least capacity and how to adapt and tailor existing experiences to meet their needs. Ms. Christine Musisi, UN-Habitat´s Director of External Relations Division acknowledged that, ‘only by working with diverse partners and building lasting partnerships can this happen. UN-Habitat will be a pioneer in this area and the Barcelona Resilience Week 2018 has been an exercise in fulfilling this role’.

Photo highlights from Barcelona Resilience Week: