- United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR),
- United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat).
We live in an urbanizing, complex world. Up to two-thirds of the world’s population – some six billion people – may live in cities by 2050. Cities act as first responders to disasters and urban populations experience the impacts firsthand. In order to reduce vulnerability and to protect inhabitants from current and future risks, cities face the challenge of building their resilience while adapting to growing urban populations, increasing pressures on basic service networks, and climate change. The best way to ensure success would imply immediate intervention by local governments in terms of cooperation, planning and investment. As cities grow and develop at a fast rate, they also increase exposure of their assets to the impacts of disasters snowballing at an alarming rate, thus planning for resilience and disaster risk reduction needs to be a priority for cities. To address these challenges, local governments need to integrate disaster risk reduction in their development plans. The impacts of disasters to businesses, properties and people have been substantial and are expected to grow as their intensity and frequency increase. A major share of natural disaster costs arises from damage to critical infrastructure. Beyond the direct costs of rebuilding, there are also substantial indirect costs associated with losing infrastructure services. The loss of such services affects businesses, communities and the broader economy via delays, interruption, financial losses, loss of customers and broader social impacts such as stress and anxiety. As such, the total cost of infrastructure damage is substantially higher than the direct replacement costs. National and Local Governments, business need to embed resilience in the decision-making process for new infrastructure. In turn, this will improve the cost-effectiveness of infrastructure spending and, more importantly, mitigate the devastating and costly impacts of disasters on businesses and communities. This session would discuss: - the importance of local leadership towards the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and identify critical aspects to achieve it; - identify how current methods of measuring resilience can inform local and national stakeholders in order to enhance resilience building efforts; - means and best practices in addressing resilience of infrastructure;