Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Creating resilient cities for a safer future

Kristen Avis in Designbuildsource: While the apocalypse predicted by the Mayans unsurprisingly failed to come true, the fact remains that disasters often strike unannounced and cities must be prepared for the worst.

Since over half the world’s population lives in cities, it is integral that those who plan, run and live in these cities are equipped with the knowledge, communication networks and tools they need to continue to function in the event of an emergency such as a natural disaster, a power grid failure, or a social uprising.

The UNISDR launched the Making Cities Resilient: My City is Getting Ready! campaign in May, 2010 to address issues of local governance and urban risk management, and local governments across the globe are taking part.

The threat of disasters is a regular occurrence for local government officials. The UNISDR says officials need better access to tools and policies to effectively deal with disasters that may occur. The campaign calls for commitments on the part of local governments to create resilient cities and increase support by federal governments to cities for strengthening local training and capabilities.

Better Cities Now lists five factors that make a city resilient. The first factor is establishing feedback loops. Public utility providers need feedback loops so different areas can help keep one another prepared when an emergency is imminent. Technical, economic, political and social links all create a more resilient city that can better withstand disruption....

A lightshow in of the Rotterdam, in commemoration of the May 1940 bombardement by Nazi Germany. Shot by Trebaxus, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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