UNISDR Extends Making Cities Resilient Campaign, Releases Handbook for Local Leaders

14 May 2012: The UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) has announced it is extending its "Making Cities Resilient" campaign to 2015. The announcement was made by Margareta Wahlström, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, during the 2012 Resilient Cities Congress.

According to Wahlström, extending the Making Cities Resilient campaign, which includes 1,020 cities, will involve providing cities with tools to assess their progress in tackling risk and climate change.

Also during the Congress, UNISDR and partners launched a publication titled “Handbook for Local Government Leaders: How to Make Cities More Resilient.” The Handbook provides mayors, governors, councillors and others with a generic framework for risk reduction and points to good practices and tools that are already being applied in different cities for that purpose. It responds to the following questions: why building disaster resilience is beneficial; what kind of strategies and actions are required; and how to go about the task. It underscores that resilience and disaster risk reduction (DRR) must be part of urban design and strategies to achieve sustainable development.

The Making Cities Resilient campaign, launched in 2010, demonstrates local leadership and raises awareness of how efforts to reduce disaster risk are making cities safer and more resilient. The Ten Essentials for Making Cities Resilient include: organization and coordination of risk management; budget assignation; preparation of risk assessments; investment and maintenance of infrastructure that reduces risk; safe schools and health facilities; risk compliant building regulations and land use planning; education and training in disaster reduction; protection of ecosystems and natural buffers; early warning systems and emergency management; and the needs of survivors.

The 2012 Resilient Cities Congress was convened by Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI), from 12-15 May, in Bonn, Germany. [UN/ISDR Press Release] [Resilient Cities Website] [Publication: Handbook for Local Government Leaders: How to Make Cities More Resilient]