Ramin Keivani (from DREC) took part in the Urban Resilience Networking Seminar at the World Urban Forum meeting in Naples on 6 September 2012. The seminar was organised by OISD and CENDEP, both based at Oxford Brookes.
So, what exactly is urban resilience? Turns out to be a very interesting and relevant subject. Let's start with the Wikipedia definition: the capability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from significant multi-hazard threats with minimum damage to public safety and health, the economy, and security of a given urban area. Wikipedia has lots more to say about urban resilience and is worth a closer look.
The focus of the World Urban Forum event was: Urban resilience - learning from experience and moving towards a more common understanding. Those that took part in the event debated different meaning and experiences of urban resilience in an attempt to contribute to a more common understanding of the subject. A number of key questions were discussed:
- What do we mean by urban resilience?
- How do we achieve it?
- What do we need to achieve it?
- How do we measure it?
Speakers at the event included:
- Michal Lyons from London South Bank University
- Helena Molin Valdes from the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction
- David Sanderson from CENDEP
- David Dodman from the International Institute for Environment and Development
- Edmundo Werna from the International Labour Organisation
- Carmen Griffiths from the Construction Resource and Development Centre (Jamaica) and Huairou Commission
There is a lot of research going on in this area. If you're interested in finding out more, take a look at the following websites:
Transitioning Towards Urban Resilience and Sustainability (TURAS)
The Green Changemakers Blog
SUPER (a video on the Sustainable Urban Planning for Ecosystems Services and Resilience project)
An inspiring little video to finish with: