Expert Working Group Meeting on ‘Advancing Urban Resilience in the Face of Environmental Challenges’
Date: 22-23 April 2013
Venue: Nanyang Executive Centre (NEC), NTU, Singapore
Organised by: RSIS Centre for NTS Studies
City view of Dhaka
Credit: Kibae Park/ UN Photo
Asia is home to half of the world’s urban population, and seven of the world’s most populous cities. Urbanisation is intensifying and the re gion has moved from populating megacities (home to more than 10 million people) to ‘meta-cities’ or hypercities (more than 20 million people). Meta-cities include Tokyo, Delhi and Shanghai, with Beijing, Dhaka and Mumbai not far behind. The systems necessary for supporting such numbers of people within a unified and often dense urban space can break down, function poorly or cease functioning altogether in the absence of adequate adaptive capacity and flexibility.
This Expert Working Group Meeting focused upon key environmental challenges facing Southeast Asia’s urban spaces. Many of the region’s cities provide economic and social hubs while at the same time face risks to a range of critical urban systems. Extreme, and even at times, moderate environmental trends and events put immense pressure on the operational continuity of interrelated urban systems. Building resilience in both key physical and social urban systems is thus imperative.
This meeting aimed to:
- Discuss the costs and benefits of building urban resilience for both the public and private sector and identify the trade-offs attributable to building urban resilience to environmental and climatic changes;
- Review best practices of participatory urban resilience building, identify who benefits from such adaptation measures and recommend ways for vulnerable communities to be more engaged in urban resilience processes;
- Discuss sustainable financing and investment mechanisms for adaptation approaches that would drive urban local governments away from dependence on external aid;
- Explore the conflicts between different resilience approaches and measures and recommend ways to reconcile them.
The meeting comprised representatives from relevant organisations in Singapore, regional representatives from INGOs, CSOs and members of academic and think tank communities.
Click here for the programme.