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Resilience and disaster risk reduction must be part of urban design and strategies to achieve sustainable development.



Disaster risk can be defined as the potential occurrence of a hazard –hydrometeorological or geo-physical–that may cause loss of life, injury, or other health impacts, as well as damage to exposed assets (property, infrastructure, environmental resources), livelihoods and service provision. The characteristics and circumstances of a community, system, or asset that make it susceptible to the damaging effects of a hazard is its vulnerability.

Unchecked by the integration of risk into development, the impact of disasters will grow and grow. Development must be risk-proofed now, so as to prevent massive losses of life, livelihoods and growth in the future.

Disaster risk reduction and resilience is part and parcel of sustainable development in the environmental, economic, social and political spheres.

“Development cannot be sustainable if the disaster risk reduction approach is not fully integrated into development planning and investments… Development investment that does not consider disaster risk will lead to the accumulation of more risk ( UN Secretary General).

“We recognize the value of Disaster Risk Management tools and strategies to better prevent disasters, protection populations and assets and financially manage their economic impacts (G20).

“Disaster risk reduction and building of resilience to disasters to be addressed with a renewed sense of urgency in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, and, as appropriate, to be integrated into policies, plans, programmes, and budgets at all levels and considered within relevant future frameworks ( UN General Assembly Resolution on Sustainable Development).

“Integrating disaster risk reduction into sustainable development strategies — by strengthening risk assessment, disaster prevention and humanitarian responses — will be critical to protecting the gains of development, particularly among those most deprived (United Nations Task Team)

Category of the action

Urban adaptation

What actions do you propose?


The Ten Essentials action provides the rationale for each Essential, pointing out strategic areas of intervention and identifying key actions. The actions identified under each Essential should be part of the overall disaster risk reduction planning process and influence urban development planning and design for Making Cities Resilient.

  • Put in place organisation and coordination to understand and reduce disaster risk, based on participation of citizen groups and civil society. Build local alliances. Ensure that all departments understand their role in disaster risk reduction and preparedness.
  • Assign a budget for disaster risk reduction and provide incentives for homeowners, low income families, communities, businesses and the public sector to invest in reducing the risks they face.
  • Maintain up to date data on hazards and vulnerabilities. Prepare risk assessments and use these as the basis for urban development plans and decisions, ensure that this information and the plans for your city’s  resilience are readily available to the public and fully discussed with them.
  • Invest in and maintain critical infrastructure that reduces risk, such as flood drainage, adjusted where needed to cope with climate change.
  • Assess the safety of all schools and health facilities and upgrade these as necessary.
  • Apply and enforce realistic, risk compliant building regulations and land use planning principles. Identify safe land for low income citizens and upgrade informal settlements, wherever feasible.
  • Ensure that education programmes and training on disaster risk reduction are in place in schools and local communities.
  • Protect ecosystems and natural buffers to mitigate floods, storm surges and other hazards to which your city may be vulnerable. Adapt to climate change by building on good risk reduction practices.
  • Install early warning systems and emergency management capacities in your city and hold regular public preparedness drills.
  • After any disaster, ensure that the needs of the affected population are placed at the centre of reconstruction, with support for them and their community organisations to design and help implement responses, including rebuilding homes and livelihoods.


Who will take these actions?

The key actors are:

Government, local government decision makers, citizens groups, volunteers, NGOs, academia, scientific-technical bodies, expertise, researchers, political parties, INGOs, Banks, Communication medias, Private sector, local civil society, governmental institutions, Sociologist, Environmentalist, Hydrologist, Climatologists, Geologist, Meteorologist and other concerned parties.

Where will these actions be taken?

Actions will be taken from any parts of the worlds urban area where natural disaster are mostly occurred and vulnerable to the communities.

What are other key benefits?

The key outcomes are as follows:

  • Accessible and pro-poor land, infrastructure, services, mobility and housing;
  • Socially inclusive, gender-sensitive, healthy and safe development;
  • Environmentally sound and carbon-efficient built environment;
  • Participatory planning and decision making processes;
  • Vibrant and competitive local economies promoting decent work and livelihoods;
  • Assurance of non-discrimination and equitable rights to the city; and
  • Empowering cities and communities to plan for and effectively manage adversity and change to build resilience.

What are the proposal’s costs?

Proposal cost will be determined by the type of project, Site of project, duration of time, implementing agencies, type of technology used in project site and number of beneficiaries groups of local communities and vice versa.

Time line

Depending on the nature of project, site of project, amount of budget, type of technology used in project site and number of beneficiaries groups of local communities. Generally, the project time line in short term 5-15 years for baseline survey, creating awareness of local communities, building networks, Research. After, 15 years, in medium term 15-50 years, implement the project activities timely and monitor regularly. After, 50 years, long term evaluate the project goals and outcomes as well as and number of beneficiaries groups of local communities.

Related proposals


G20 Leaders Declaration (2012).

UN Secretary-General’s report into the Implementation of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction.

UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda, 2013 Realizing the

Future We Want for All.

UNISDR (2012): How to Make Cities More Resilient - A Handbook for Mayors and Local Government Leaders. Geneva, Switzerland: United Nations International Strategy for Disaster.

United Nations Declaration Rio (2012): The Future We Want.