Resilient Cities 2016

  • 11th July 2016
  • by secretary

6 – 8 July 2016. Bonn, Germany. Over 300 participants from more than 40 countries gathered for the seventh year in Bonn to discuss urban resilience. Three main strands of work were launched:

  1. how to finance resilience; 
  2. how to ensure that resilience is inclusive; 
  3. how to move forward on the global agenda.

After three days it became clear to all that these issues are fundamentally interconnected. It is impossible to move forward the global agenda without the involvement of citizens, and in particular slum dwellers and members of marginalized communities that are often the backbone of local economies. The case of Accra, in Ghana, where the so-called “informal economy” makes up a very large part of the local economy, is telling. Thanks to the help of WIEGO, hawkers and street sellers got together, identified their priorities and gradually conquered a sit at the table.

Resilience projects can often be outside the financial reach of local authorities. Lots of money is needed to build new, green and resilient infrastructure, as it is to upgrade existing infrastructure. How to make this connection happen? People, again. Their capacity, which needs to be build; their involvement in the planning and implementation of the project, which is crucial to ensure long-term success and therefore financial viability of the project.

It is not (or not only) about making “prettier” projects that would appeal to potential investors, but rather about creating the environment in which innovative financial tools can be developed to leverage existing resources and even bridge the income gap in many emerging economies, as was suggested during a workshop on City Innovation Platforms (CIPs) for African infrastructure risk and resilience.

Extract of the programme:

PANEL: Inclusive and Resilient Urban Development Forum – Slum upgrading achieving resilient cities for all in Africa
Session Description

  • Julian Baskin, Head of Programme Unit, Cities Alliance, Brussels, Belgium
  • Ellen Oteng Nsiah, Executive Director, Housing the Masses, Accra, Ghana
  • Sipliant Takougang, National Coordinator Urban Governance Programme, Ministry of Urban Development and Habitat, Yaounde, Cameroon
  • Wolfgang Ryll, Principal Sector Economist, KfW, Frankfurt, Germany

PANEL: Resilience planning in small and intermediate-sized cities in Sub-Saharan Africa
Session Description

  • Katharina Rochell, Urban Resilience Specialist, UN-Habitat, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Joost Möhlmann, Head of Programme, UN-Habitat Mozambique, Maputo, Mozambique
  • Julian Baskin, Head of Programme Unit, Cities Alliance, Brussels, Belgium
  • Sean O’Donoghue, Acting Manager of the Climate Protection Branch, Environmental Planning and Climate Protection Department, eThekwini Municipality/Durban, South Africa 
  • Daviz Mbepo Simango, Mayor, City Council of Beira, Mozambique

WORKSHOP: City Innovation Platforms (CIPs) for African infrastructure risk and resilience
Session Description

  • Tom Herbstein, Programme Manager, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)’s ClimateWise, Cambridge, UK Leadership (CISL)’s ClimateWise, Cambridge, UK
  • Vanessa Otto-Mentz, Head: Group Strategy Unit Santam, Bellville, South Africa
  • Kobie Brand, Regional Director, ICLEI Africa, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Butch Bacani, Programme Leader, The UNEP FI Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative (UNEP FI – PSI), Geneva, Switzerland