Economics · Governance · Law · Public Policy

100 Resilient Cities

OVERTURE

Resilient is a term which is used to denote a capacity of some entity or system within a city to survive, adapt and grow not just as a response to shocks, but also to the stresses that weakens the fabric of a city on a day to day or cyclic basis. Resilient cities can be resembled as a vehicle with superb shock absorbers installed in it, so that it can easily move in any terrain without any difficulty. Therefore, Resilience is about adapting and reducing vulnerability. It can also be said that it is the capacity of any system to deal with external changes while maintaining its structure, function and identity.

100 RC is a global program in which nearly 400 cities across six continents have applied to participate in the first intake of the 100 RC. From India, Surat city- located in the state of Gujarat, Chennai – located in state of Tamil Nadu and Bengaluru – located in state of Karnataka, are among the first 33 cities selected for 100 RC.

NEED FOR RESILINCE

Cities often keep on facing various social, political, economical or geographical problems with different possible solutions as well and today, cities are subject to future shocks and stresses that will be associated with climate change, energy scarcity and global population growth. Their economies, food supplies, public and private transportation, and the production of materials to build them, are all energy intensive and fossil fuel dependent; and their existing building has not been designed to stand up to the future environmental shocks and stresses produced by a warming climate. Other reasons for a need for resilient cities are Climate Changes, Energy Scarcity, Global population Growth, etc. Therefore in order to cope up with the above mentioned problems, it becomes necessary to have a city with is resilient.

CONSTRUCTING RESILIENT CITY

On New Year’s Day, 100 Resilient Cities wanted to challenge cities everywhere to make the following resolutions to build resilience and prepare for all the challenges of a rapid urbanizing, globalizing, changing city landscape through following ways:

  1. GET WOMEN INVOLVED IN CITY PLANNING AND DISASTER RESPONSE:

Women are underrepresented in city government and in how cities plan and execute emergency recovery. Considering womens’ vital contributions to a city’s resilience, this deficiency is more dramatic that it might appear at first. Make a smart and sustained effort to address this shortcoming. Resilience, by definition, requires that a city pursue inclusivity, and getting more women more involved will make the city more effective and healthier.

  1. FIND INNOVATIVE WAYS TO USE SIMPLE TECH TO ADDRESS LONG-STANDING PROBLEMS:

Many cities already have access to the technology they need to address significant challenges they face; they just need to think about how to use it in new ways. For example, Barcelona developed a smart phone app to help combat loneliness among the elderly. Cities should commit to finding inexpensive, innovative ways of thinking about existing tech to address long-standing resilience challenges.

  1. GET SERIOUS ABOUT SUPPORTING TRANSPORTATION ALTERNATIVES SUCH AS BIKES AND MASS TRANSIT:

Many cities have started to push their commitment to transportation alternatives on a large and growing scale. Cities that address transit challenges creatively realize a host of benefits as fewer people use automobiles, whether they pursue an explicitly green priority such as bicycle use, as Copenhagen did, or other options such as mass transit.

  1. THINK ABOUT DATA SERIOUSLY, AND INTEGRATE IT INTO PLANNING AT A FUNDAMENTAL LEVEL:

Cities already collect massive amounts of data about the systems they control. More of them need to innovate how they’ll use what they already have, before they begin investing in collecting more of it. For example, New Orleans is working with data experts to identify more efficient policing patterns, install street lights where they are most needed, and direct their investing in a smarter fashion. Resolve to put data to use for your city.

  1. RETHINK SPACE ALLOCATION AND INNOVATE TO ADDRESS OLD AND EMERGING CHALLENGES:

Cities are crowded, and becoming more so. Whether it’s figuring out how to allocate space to foster urban farming or attempting a new approach to old practices such as burial in a cemetery, cities have to change the way they think about using and allocating physical space.

ULTIMATUM

There are various challenges that are being faced by entities and individuals as well. Those challenges are:

  1. Taking the concept of resilience, sustainability and livability beyond metaphorical status and making them operational by being specific.
  2. Acknowledgement and confrontation of the differences between resilience, restoration and resistance.
  3. Contribution of communities and social movements that include and engage people where they live.
  4. Mindfully creating mosaics of communities and design elements that together add up to resilience along with sustainability and livability.
  5. View of different cities for each other with regards to problems or difficulties faced by them and solution for same.

CONCLUSION

It has been suggested in the last program of ESA (Ecological Society of America) in 2009 that both resilience and sustainability science focus on the global dimension of human environmental impacts and possible responses. Therefore, from one side, urban resilience needs tools for the translation in practice of the system understanding and possible evolutions. From other side of its theoretical framework, it still needs much more implementation. There are still many questions which arise like: How will resilient cities relate with the planning in practice and governance or how far we could expect from the descriptive urban resilient framework useful insights and links with prescriptive ones?

About the Author

Deepak PanwarDeepak Panwar is a third year student pursuing B.B.A., LL.B. from Raffles University, Rajasthan. His areas of interest are administration, corporate and political laws. He wishes to make himself better in research and drafting skills. He has interned with several NGOs and under various advocates.  In his spare time, he likes to swim, play table tennis or read. Currently, he is interning with the Model Governance Foundation.

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