ICLEI Report Shines Spotlight on Urban Resilience
UN Photo/Kibae Park
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Based on the outcomes of the 9th Global Forum on Urban Resilience and Adaptation, the report discusses sessions on strengthening multi-level governance to achieve Paris Agreement goals and the 2030 Agenda, and resilience and sustainability benefits from nature-based solutions.

On evidence-driven, data-based urban resilience planning and action, the publication highlights a number of recommendations, including developing a joint research agenda among city resilience practitioners, and scientists and academics.

The report also notes emerging themes in urban resilience, such as ensuring that the digital transformation of cities is embedded in urban governance that supports implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

August 2018: ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability has published the 2018 edition of its ‘Resilient Cities Report.’ The publication reflects on developments in urban resilience and climate change adaptation, and elaborates on specific tools, initiatives, case studies and solutions presented at the 9th Global Forum on Urban Resilience and Adaptation, building on discussions and developments from previous years.

The 9th Global Forum on Urban Resilience and Adaptation convened in Bonn, Germany, from 26-28 April 2018. The annual forum provides a platform to share the latest knowledge, good practices, challenges and innovations for creating more resilient cities, and track local progress on achieving resilience targets under SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities). According to ICLEI, Goal 11 is the main lever to attain all other Goals.

The report discusses Global Forum sessions on, inter alia: strengthening multi-level governance to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; resilience and sustainability benefits from nature-based solutions; reinforcing multi-stakeholder collaboration, including among the private sector, the insurance industry, climate scientists and community leaders; links between urban resilience and resource efficiency/circular economy pathways; increasing challenges of Big Data and digitalization for cities and regions; strategies to protect and preserve natural and cultural heritage for enhanced urban resilience; and best practices for ensuring resilient food systems, enhancing social cohesion and citizen participation in resilience-building efforts.

According to the report, the meeting also served as an official Cities and Regions Talanoa Dialogue, during which delegates urged engaging all government levels to address climate change in the context of pursuing the SDGs and the New Urban Agenda (NUA). Participants emphasized the need to: abandon “silo thinking” and work together to align actions and visions with all relevant entities, including citizens; transform regulatory and governance frameworks; direct finance to local entities to implement national visions from the ground up; and act with more urgency in UN negotiations.

CitiesWithNature is a global platform for mainstreaming nature into urban areas to benefit both people and nature.

The report also notes discussions held during the Global Forum on urban resilience in small island developing States (SIDS). These discussions focused on, inter alia: promoting ecotourism; a collective SIDS decision on rules such as conservation regulations as a possible way forward; ecosystem-based adaptation for Pacific communities; and the first case of relocating a village to safer grounds due to climate change impacts in Fiji.

On nature-based solutions and improving evidence-based information to unlock finance, the report highlights CitiesWithNature, a global platform for cities, regions, communities and experts to connect to advance mainstreaming nature into urban areas. On resilient food systems and circular development, the report notes the Sustainable Food Systems Transformative Framework (SFS Framework), which combines policy levers, methodologies, tools and activities across the food system, and explores the ways in which local and national governments can stimulate sustainable food systems.

On evidence-driven, data-based urban resilience planning and action, the publication highlights a number of recommendations that emanated from the conference, including: developing a joint research agenda among city resilience practitioners and scientists/academics; using technological advancements, such as satellite remote sensing, to help support climate resilience planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of progress on the SDGs; using human-sourced, community-owned data, especially generated in slums and informal settlements, to provide information on socioeconomic and resilience conditions; and ensuring that global decisions are backed by local contexts to advance the SDGs.

Among insurance-related issues addressed by the conference, the report underscores: a global framework to foster collaboration among cities and the insurance industry, following the first-ever 2017 Insurance Industry and Cities Summit; sharing insurance loss data to increase understanding of risk; insurance industry innovations, such as social impact and resilience bonds; and Insurance Industry Development Goals for Cities, which relate to, inter alia, promoting risk management, insurance and financial literacy, and developing sustainable insurance roadmaps for cities

The report also notes emerging themes in urban resilience explored by the Global Forum, such as: ensuring that digitalization benefits communities; ensuring that the digital transformation of cities is embedded in urban governance that supports implementation of the 2030 Agenda; integrating conflicting resilience strategies with other levels of governance to ensure urban areas are more shock resistant; addressing large influxes of forced migrants, and ensuring their inclusion and social cohesion; impacts of mass tourism on social cohesion and community resilience to disasters; and preparing for heatwaves. [Publication: Resilient Cities Report 2018]


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