In light of challenges posed by multiple natural and human-made hazards, the climate emergency, growing interdependencies between sectors as well as the complex and systemic nature of impacts, understanding and assessing risks, both existing and potential ones, must become an integral part of urban development. Local governments are on the frontline of opportunity to prevent and reduce risks as well as the impact of disasters, keep people out of poverty, protect hard-earned local development gains, and enable cities to become more inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. It is important to highlight that risk-informed development (RID) in the urban context can only be possible, if (1) cities and local governments understand the systematic nature of risks, including their potential spiraling and cascading effects from one sector to another, and (2) cities are able to arrange appropriate governance structures allowing for multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder engagement in the urban development planning and implementation process.
Established in 2001 by the United Nations, the World Urban Forum (WUF) is the global conference on sustainable urbanization. The WUF aims to examine the most pressing issues facing the world today, like rapid urbanization and its impact on communities, cities, economies, climate change and policies. The 11th WUF took place from the 26-30.06.2022 in Katowice, Poland.
Together with UNDP, UNDRR and UN-Habitat, the Global Initiative on Disaster Risk Management (GIDRM) co-developed and -hosted the ONE-UN event “MCR2030: Fostering risk-informed urban development to advance urban resilience action”. The session provided insights into various approaches cities can take towards developing a risk-based decision-making process for more sustainable and resilient urban development. It shared examples of how risk-informed development approaches by UN entities, GIZ and partners via the MCR2030 Resilience Roadmap support local governments and good risk governance across all levels.
GIDRM’s insight showcased the joint-initiative on “Risk-Informed Urban Development” (RIUD) with the “Connective Cities - Community of Practice for Sustainable Urban Development” commissioned by BMZ and implemented by GIZ. This joint-initiative focuses on the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and has the objective to:
- enable by peer-to-peer exchanges on disaster risk management;
- gain insight from champions of good risk-governance and existing tools, frameworks, and innovative projects;
- and profit from a network of experts while developing project proposals for the City Climate Gap Fund.
Hosting representatives from about 14 countries and 20 cities, the joint initiative follows the UNDRR-Making Cities Resilient 2030 Roadmap and has brought a great diversity of sector representatives (e.g. public works and infrastructure, urban development, climate change, environment, policy making, finance and public administration, information and communication, academia, municipal associations, disaster risk management officials, fire brigade etc.). Numerous knowledge products with lessons learned and recommendations for the context-specific design of RIUD are available and accessible under the RIUD-Sessions on the digital platform of Connective Cities.