20 May 2016
International Gathering for Resilience in Barcelona

Resilience is one of the key focus areas for the Cities Programme, a critical issue from which to mobilise action and build partnerships that will advance global sustainability on the local level.

Our Resilience expert, Michael Nolan recently joined a team of international leaders in Barcelona in a five-day meeting that advanced the understanding of resilience and strengthened the connection between resilience practitioners, particularly from the Spanish-speaking world.

Drawing together over 170 participants from more than 20 cities, the Barcelona Resilience Partnership, UN-HABITAT’s City Resilience Profiling Programme and the City of Barcelona launched Barcelona Resilience Week, an event giving voices to and connecting cities, while providing the opportunity to learn about ground-breaking resilience topics.

This year’s event provided space for interaction to create new contacts, develop partnerships and foster networking opportunities between cities, companies with extensive experience in implementing resilience projects and experts coming from international institutions.

Resilience – A critical issue for Global Sustainability in the Urban Context

Michael Nolan brings over twenty years experience in urban resilience, climate change adaptation and sustainability to his new role as Chair of the UN Global Compact – Cities Programme. He has a particular skill and interest in bringing the public and private sectors together with communities to work on projects that build resilience on a local and precinct level.

According to Michael, the need for cities to be resilient is greater than ever.

“Urbanisation is accelerating with 75 per cent of the world’s population expected to live in cities by 2050 compared to just 10 per cent in 1910.

“This means we are concentrating our physical and cultural value, people and economies in urban centres which are potentially more vulnerable to shocks.”

Michael notes that although there is greater maturity in the market today for resilient tools and processes to assess resilience of sectors, the benefits are still under valued and integrated into decision making.

“How we embrace the complexity of cities and enhance collaboration between private and public sectors to increase resilience will determine our prosperity – and even our survival.

“The Cities Programme has been working closely with UN-Habitat to support resilience with our City Scan tool soon to be offered on the new Resilience Tools platform.”

A number of our leading cities are particularly focused on building resilience, in partnership with local business and civil society.

Many are being supported by 100RC with whom we work closely with. These leader cities include Porto Alegre and Melbourne.

As Michael says, “It is clear that the success of many city resilience programs will depend on private sector collaboration with public sector where shared value can be achieved.”