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Building resilience into cities

Challenge

Build resilience into city planning.

Problem

Big cities are vulnerable to threats such as flooding, terrorism, disease outbreaks and even energy outages. This was highlighted in 2012 when Hurricane Sandy hit New York.

Solution

Urban planners are seeking to build resilience into cities as infrastructure is updated and regenerated. Resilience thinking means planning for potential disruption and adapting to it. For violent weather events this means establishing areas to absorb the waves rather than block them. In New York, the wetlands that had been eroded previously acted as a buffer to such storms. Resilience in reacting to the effects of storms comes from being able to rapidly deploy temporary bridges and establish electrical microgrids. Buildings and infrastructure must not just be designed to have a low impact on the environment but also to respond to the impacts of that environment.

Benefits

Ability to cope with extreme events and minimise negative impact
Avoided costs of dealing with disaster and disruption to growth

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