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Dialogue 2: Building Resilience for Sustainable Urban Futures

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that urban areas must continually adapt to various challenges in an integrated and holistic manner.

Joan Erakit


date June 28, 2022 | 11:00 - 13:00
Polish, Spanish, English, French, Russian, Chinese, Arabic + ISL [Polish + English]
Building Resilience for Sustainable Urban Futures


The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that urban areas must continually adapt to challenges in an integrated and holistic manner. At the same time, such shocks and threats can be catalysed to transform societies.

Urban resilience to climate change has gained momentum recently. Now it is important to examine new ways to increase successful practices to support cities, especially in small island developing states, less developed countries and low- and middle-income countries. Many are highly vulnerable to climate shocks and crises, but have limited internal capacities and resources.


On the other hand, the criticality of urban and climate resilience has gained awareness and momentum. What is imperative now is to think and work in new ways to upscale successful practices to support cities, especially in SIDS, LDCs and LMICs which face high exposure and vulnerability, governance deficits and limited existing internal capacities and resources.

Resilience building should drive towards, safeguard, and sustain development goals. This transformative resilience holds the potential to turn the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic into opportunities for growth and innovation that addresses existing challenges in cities, particularly for urban “weak spots” such as slums and informal settlements that disproportionately suffer from the impacts of climate change and natural disasters.

Guiding Questions for discussions

  1. What policy directions can governments and relevant stakeholders at various levels and in different contexts take to build resilience across various dimensions— economic, social and environmental, including appropriate governance and institutional structures?  
  2. How can various level of government implement innovative programmes and policies (such as universal basic income, universal health insurance and universal housing) that have the potential to address inequalities in cities and enhancing societal resilience? What are the obstacles to achieving that?  
  3. How can cities build resilience that is more transformative as opposed to one that only favors palliative solutions (thus maintaining the status quo)? What are the supportive structures and capacities required to achieve this in various contexts?  
  4. Drawing from the COVID-19 pandemic, what lessons are emerging on resilience building in various cities and regions? How can this inform building sustainable urban futures?  
  5. What are the roles of the different levels of government and relevant stakeholders in ensuring that this resilience is transformative?  
  6. How can organizational capacity in building urban resilience be enhanced and sustained in various levels of government?

Concept Note:

Joan Erakit

Independent | Writer & Consultant

Padma Kumar Mainalee

Ministry of Urban Development | Joint Secretary

Mami Mizutori

UNDRR | Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction and Head of UNDRR

Hon. Souad Abderrahim
Hon. Souad Abderrahim

Mayor of Tunis

Hon. Anies Baswedan

Government of Jakarta, Indonesia

Hon. Maher Johan
Hon. Maher Johan

Government of Iraq | Deputy Minister of Planning for Technical Affairs

Ronald Jackson

UNDP | Head of the Disaster Risk Reduction, Recovery for Building Resilience

Iain McKinnon
Global Disability Innovation Hub | Director of Inclusive Design
Walter Cotte

IFRC | Special Representative of IFRC Secretary General (SRSG)

Maria Galindo

Regional Government of Catalonia | Director of Urban Agenda and Digital Nation

Marjeta Jager

European Commission | Deputy Director-General, International Partnerships

Sergio López

Municipality of Medellin | Chief of Urban Planning

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