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- UN-Habitat Executive Director: World Cities Day Message
Globally, all cities are vulnerable to severe impacts from a range of shocks and stresses that can be both natural and human made. Today, cities and city inhabitants are facing additional and amplified challenges as a result of rapid urbanization, climate change and political instability. Taking into account that 50% of the population already lives in cities and that, by 2050, this figure is expected to reach the 70%, there is a pressing need for new tools and approaches that strengthen local administrations and citizens, as well as their capacity to face new challenges and to better protect human, economic and natural assets of our towns and cities.
Resilience refers to the ability of any urban system to maintain continuity through all shocks and stresses while positively adapting and transforming towards sustainability. Therefore, a resilient city is one that assesses, plans and acts to prepare for and respond to all hazards, either sudden or slow-onset, expected or unexpected. By doing so, cities are better able to protect and enhance people’s lives, secure development gains, foster and investible environment and drive positive change.
As risks and urban population are dramatically increasing, the concept of resilience has gained greater prominence in international development. This is of special relevance due to the fact that, as vulnerable groups and the poor are more prone to shocks and stresses and they may not have the resources to recover, the global agendas having resilience as a key concept will ensure that the call for sustainable and resilient cities leaves no one behind. Furthermore, it is essential to understand that resilience lies at the core of the humanitarian-development nexus due to the fact that, in its essence, it must seek the betterment of people. Ingraining resilience, therefore, must reduce risks by increasing capacities and must decrease fragility by enhancing effective and forward-thinking responses.
|Find out more about the City Resilience Profiling Programme|