Embedding resilience across scales: Climate proofing buildings and critical infrastructure

The C1 Panel of the resilient building and construction forum was lead by the general belief that resilience can only be achieved if buildings are analyzed in the specific area and context that they exist within. The first panelist was Mr. Hartke. His major contribution was the LEED Climate Resilience Screening Tool, which is now used by the US Green Building Council to analyze the sensitivity of buildings to climate change and their needs regarding adaptation. They are trying to distribute this tool to practitioners to upload data and receive significant feedback. Ms. Fink from UNEP underlined that the main Read more

Voices from the Corridor – 30 May

ICLEI asks Resilient Cities attendants two questions: Who is your adaptation hero and What is your favorite/suggested tool/model for building resilience?   Who is your adaptation hero? Foro Hidrico, Buenos Aires Why? Network of local residents, very responsive and organized during flood events What is your favorite/suggested tool/model for building resilience? Environmental Land Planning Why? Focusing on very critical element which is land use planning Daniel E.Ryan/ Director of Area de Cambio Global/ Argentina     Who is your adaptation hero? Jeb Brugmann, ICLEI USA Why? Inspirational approach on growth of the cities;  metabolism of cities What is your favorite/suggested Read more

Building Climate Change Adaptation knowledge and capacity by ‘halves’

Researcher-practitioner collaboration for climate change adaptation is both challenging and rewarding as actors from both ‘knowledge communities’ work to find a common language, shared expectations and build trust through interactions. Four presentations in a session on “Global Examples for Researcher-Practitioner Collaboration” reported lessons from the field from both developed and developing country contexts with a surprising overlap of challenges. Language is a key issue for collaboration explained Andrej Steiner from the Carpathian Development Institute of Slovakia saying that we need the ‘half’ people. “We need people who can speak and understand half the language of the scientists and half the Read more

Resilient Buildings for Resilient Cities

The Resilient Buildings and Construction Forum, here at ICLEI’s 5th Annual Resilient Cities Conference in Bonn, is motivated by a simple premise: We can’t have the sustainable future that we all want unless we build that future on the foundation of resilient cities.  And we can’t achieve more resilient cities unless we design, construct and operate resilient buildings. If we are to protect our cities and make them stronger in the face of a changing climate, then there is no more critical sector than our buildings.  These are the places where we live, where we work, where we learn, and, Read more

Integrating urban biodiversity into eco-systems based adaptation

The lecture began with Shela Patrickson giving basic introductions of the facilitator, panelists and speakers describing about the interesting concept of integrating urban biodiversity into ecosystem based adaptation. Resilient cities have the capability to absorb disturbances, and the maintenance of healthy ecosystem services can mitigate those impacts such as global climate change. Maintaining water quality, soil, agricultures, etc., climate change will be one of the main reasons for biodiversity loss. The session will explore about some of the links that strengthen and weaken biodiversity. Ecosystems are one of the essential things for climate change adaptation. The empowerment of local governments Read more

Removing the Bottleneck for Infrastructure Investments

The presentation initially began with basic introductions of the facilitator and panelists leading into focusing around a probable idea of strengthening infrastructure systems. The first speech focused on promoting a project relating to a sustainable infrastructure bankability study fund. This fund would essentially create a market mechanism to fund bankability studies, project sourcing through the proven GIB deal flow, and de-risking through GIB Sustainable Infrastructure Grading which should provide risk capital supporting the completion of bankability studies. According to Katarina Schneider Roos, during the early stages of the project development cycle, risk remains relatively high, but with more time the Read more

Making space for the birds and the bees improves quality of life

City planners need practical tools to incorporate the different types of knowledge required to plan for urban biodiversity and ecosystem services. Just as important is the need to understand how urban biodiversity shapes, and is shaped, by quality of life aspects. The importance and role of biodiversity in cities suffers from an image problem explained graduate student Jennifer Rae Pierce from Cornell Univesity, USA, at a practitioners workshop showcasing two new planning tools for ecosystem services in urban areas. “We need to start thinking of biodiversity and ecosystem services as infrastructure for urban areas just like other types of infrastructure,” Read more

Message from HRH the Prince of Wales at Resilient Cities 2014

  His Royal Highness Prince of Wales Charles calls the Resilient Cities congress” vitally important to articulate fully the vision, and help establish ways to build the evidence based galvanize the world for change” In a video message addressed to all mayors, researchers and youth leaders gathered at the Resilient Cities 2014 congress in Bonn Germany, Prince Charles highlights that the need for integrated approaches for action, saying that “Sustainable urbanization depends upon healthy connection between urban and rural development and that nowhere is this more important than in relation to food and water. The need for this integrated approach Read more

Vulnerability assessment is key

Cities need to be prepared for disaster. It should not be that a flood hits, a storm rages or a mass earthquake wakes a city up to the need for disaster risk assessment and adaptation. The Open European Day, a pre-event of Resilient Cities 2014, broached the subject within of the need for vulnerability and risk assessments. Adaptation is gaining momentum but unfortunately it is driven by disaster. As Nancy Saich from the European Investment Bank said, “They think adaptation is only flood protection, or only one aspect. They need to realize that vulnerability assessment is key. Cities need to Read more

Funding tips from Nancy Saich, EIB

Nancy Saich from the European Investment Bank had lots of tips and advice for cities looking for funding. Here are her top five: EIB is not just funding, we do lending, blending and advising. Resilience and Adaptation are key priorities for the Bank this year. We have funding for Adaptation. We are really supporting and funding resilient actions and infrastructure. Sometimes it is not about spending money, it is about spending money differently. The approach has to be changed. Needs have to be assessed and integrated. Stop being  a climate change and adaptation purist. Be more pragmatic and think what Read more