HABITAT and Partners Launch Collaboration on Urban Resilience

logo-wuf711 April 2014: The UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) and eight partners launched the Medellín Collaboration on Urban Resilience, to facilitate the flow of knowledge and financial resources to help cities become more resilient to systemic shocks and stresses, including from climate change, disasters caused by natural hazards, and socio-economic challenges resulting from rapid urbanization.

The Collaboration was launched during the Seventh World Urban Forum (WUF 7) in Medellín, Colombia. Collaboration partners include UN-HABITAT, the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), the World Bank, the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Rockefeller Foundation, 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. These organizations have committed more than US$2 billion in annual funding towards advancing resilient, sustainable urban growth and development, according to UN-HABITAT.

The Collaboration's objectives include: harmonizing approaches and tools to help cities assess their exposure, vulnerability and strengths; catalyzing access to finance mechanisms; supporting capacity development, including sharing of best practices; and forging alliances with urban networks, institutions and the private sector.

“This collaboration will ensure that cities have access to the most powerful financial and technical tools to deal with shocks and stresses,” said Michael Berkowitz, President of 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation. Margareta Wahlström, UN Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, noted increasing support for urban resilience in recent years, and said “this new collaboration represents a consolidation of those efforts as we prepare for an explosion of urbanization in the 21st century, when more urban space will be created than at any time in history.”

The collaboration also will work to mobilize support for: addressing urban resilience in the post-2015 development agenda; a new universal climate change framework; a new global agreement on disaster risk reduction (DRR) to succeed the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA); and the Third UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III).

WUF 7 took place from 5 to 11 April 2014, under the theme 'Urban Equity in Development – Cities for Life.' [UN-HABITAT Press Release] [IISD RS Coverage of WUF 7] [IISD RS Story on WUF 7]