Kuala Lumpur, 13 February, 2018 - Rapid unplanned urbanization combined with a multiplicity of hazards is this world’s reality. The increasing number and magnitude of threats facing our cities means that there is growing urgency to build urban resilient.
Speaking at the opening of the World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpur, UN-Habitat’s Executive Director stressed resilience as one of the key conditions for cities: “Our destination is clear: inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable human settlements.”
To move towards this vision and on the occasion the 9th World Urban Forum, UN-Habitat launched the Urban Resilience Hub, an online platform to provide resilience champions and their allies with a valuable space to communicate their work, access resources and find tools to raise the resilience agenda in their city.
One-hundred and eight countries and territories (50,5% of the world) were hit by disasters in 2016 (Annual Disaster Statistics Review 2016). Proportionately, the urban poor are most affected as they often live in precarious environments and/or have less resources to plan and recover from hazards. Beyond protecting life, infrastructure and functionality, resilience-building measures are therefore essential to lifting people out of poverty and ensuring that millions do not fall back at the first shock.
Local governments play a key role in making cities safer however, despite their strong commitment, many lack the internal capacity to take on the challenge. To meet this need, UN-Habitat has launched the Urban Resilience Hub. The Hub’s approach focusses on promoting real stories of real action from real cities and brings together existing communities of practice while also promoting new and organic partnerships. All urban actors are stakeholders in resilience: from local governments to civil society groups and NGOs, the private sector and more.
The Urban Resilience Hub is part of UN-Habitat’s commitment to supporting local governments to build resilience in a people-centred and holistic manner, in line with globally-agreed development frameworks. The Hub is a contribution to the Making Cities Sustainable and Resilient Action and made possible with the financial support of the European Commission.
In addition, building urban resilience will be the central theme of this year’s World Cities Day celebrations. The theme announced in the World Urban Forum is Building Sustainable and Resilient Cities.