Resilient cities

Abhilash Panda, Dilanthi Amaratunga

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In 1990, 43 per cent (2.3 billion) of the world’s population lived in urban areas, and by 2014 this was 54 percent. The urban population exceeded the rural population for the first time in 2008, and by 2050 it is predicted that urbanisation will rise to 70% (Albrito, 2012). This increase in urban population has not been evenly spread throughout the world. Different regions have seen their urban populations grow more quickly, or less quickly, although virtually no region of the world can report a decrease in urbanization. As the urban population increases, the land area occupied by cities has increased at an even higher rate. A global sample of 120 cities observed between 1990 and the year 2000, shows that while the population grew at a rate of 17 per cent on average, the built-up area grew by 28 per cent. It has been projected that, by 2030, the urban population of developing countries will double, while the area covered by cities will triple (World Urbanization Prospect, 2014). This emphasises the need for resilience in the urban environment to anticipate and respond to disasters. Realising this need, many local and international organisations have developed tools and frameworks to assist governments to plan and implement disaster risk reduction strategies efficiently. Sendai Framework’s four Priorities for Action, Making Cities Resilient: My City is Getting Ready, and UNISDR’s Disaster Resilience Scorecard for Cities are some of the major documents that provide essential guidelines for urban resilience. Given that, the disaster governance also needs to be efficient with ground level participation for the implementation of these frameworks. This can be reinforced by adequate financing and resources depending on the exposure and risk of disasters. In essence, the resilience of a city is the resistance, coping capacity, recovery, adaptive capacity, and responsibility of everyone.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOxford Encyclopedia of Natural Hazards Governance
EditorsBrian J. Gerber, Ann-Margaret Esnard, Bruce Glavovic, Christine Wamsler, Obijiofor Aginam, Thomas A. Birkland, Timothy Sim
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jan 2019


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