During the 3rd International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC Davos 2010, taken place in Davos, Switzerland from 30 May to 03 June 2010, UN-ISDR launched the campaign "Making cities resilient - My city is getting ready".
With Baofeng County (China), Davos(Switzerland), Tehran and Mashad (both I.R.Iran) 4 cities have signed-up during the conference.
Is your city getting ready?
More than half of the world's population is living in cities or urban centres nowadays. Cities are the economic engines of our societies and account for most nations' wealth. But failed infrastructures and services, environmental urban degradation, increasing informal settlements and almost a billion slum dwellers around the world are making many urban citizens more vulnerable to natural hazards.
Like recent mega catastrophes in Haiti, Chile and China have show how vulnerable societies are, how limited we are in providing help, and how complex it is overcoming these disasters. Together with UN-ISDR, GRF Davos wanted to use the IDRC Davos 2010 as an event which could bring the necessary momentum to provide solutions to these urgent and pressing issues and to strongly support the UN-ISDR 2010-2011 World Disaster Reduction Capaign.
IDRC Davos 2010 Plenary Session on Urban Risks and Mega Cities
Launch of the UN-ISDR Campaign "Making Cities Resilient - My City is Getting Ready"
The overall goal of the campaign is to achieve resilient, sustainable urban communities, with a growing number of local governments that are taking actions to reduce the risks to disasters.
A longer term objective following the campaign is to empower local governments with stronger national policies to invest in risk reduction at local level, as part of urban and regional development plans.
The campaign is aimed at strengthening and supporting local governments, community groups and leaders, Mayors and technical staff involved in urban development planning and disaster risk management, including national authorities responsible for local and urban development and disaster risk reduction.
For the Making Cities Resilient Campaign, the term ‘city’ refers to urban areas in general. Similarly, the term ‘local government’ includes both urban and rural communities of different scales (i.e. regional, provincial, metropolitan, cities, towns, municipalities, districts and villages).
Where possible, the campaign will focus especially on reaching the most vulnerable urban communities; the urban poor and communities that face a high-risk of adverse hazard impacts.
The target for 2010 is to achieve at least 25 role model resilient cities/local governments, and fifty additional participating ones. By the end of 2011, the target is to have reached more than a thousand cities/local government engaged in the campaign.
What is a Disaster Resilient City?
There are a number of actions that local governments, citizens and the private sector can undertake to make a city more resilient. Natural hazards will always occur in different magnitude and severity, but they do not need to turn into devastation. Is your city ready?
A disaster resilient city:
- Is one where people participate, decide and plan their city together with the local government authorities, based on their capacities and resources
- Has a competent and accountable local government that caters for sustainable urbanization with participation from all groups
- Is one where many disasters are avoided because the whole population lives in homes and neighborhoods served by good infrastructure (piped water, good sanitation and drainage, all-weather roads, electricity) and services (health care, schools, garbage collection, emergency services), in structures that meet sensible building codes, without the need for informal settlements on flood plains or steep slopes because no other land is available
- Understands its dangers, and develops a strong, local information base on hazards and risks, on who is exposed and who is vulnerable
- Has taken steps to anticipate disaster and protect assets – people, their homes and
- possessions, cultural heritage, economic capital – and is able to minimize physical and social losses arising from extreme weather events, earthquakes or other hazards
- Has committed the necessary resources and is capable of organizing itself before, during and after a natural hazard event
- Is able to quickly restore basic services as well as resume social, institutional and economic activity after such an event
- Understands that most of the above is also central to building resilience to climate change.
The Incheon Declaration
This declaration summarizes the commitments made and challenges ahead in moving the disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation agenda forward through an Alliance of Local Governments for Disaster Risk Reduction.
How can I get involved?
If you are a community group, NGO or other active member of your city or community who wants to commit to and support the Campaign goals, contact your local government and propose a partnership to join the Campaign. Support public outreach activities in your city, projects, plans and any of the areas of the Ten-point checklist of Essentials for Making Cities Resilient.