Outlook Plenary: “The two coming years are vital. Please go back home and transform the world”

Ending Resilient Cities 2014 is impossible; even though the weekend has been long, it has just begun. That is the continuing legacy of these ICLEI congresses: in facing the world’s twin super challenges – urbanisation and climate change – our work must be never-ending and our lessons learned never forgotten. Thankfully, the readiness of participants to return home to get started was radiating from smiling lips and crystal-clear eyes after the outlook plenary.

Dutch-style interactive modelling of heat islands, indoor overheating and pluvial water management

At the end of the three days of Resilient Cities 2014, four researchers and one policy advisor, all Dutch, fittingly offered attendants three valuable practical tools for resilience and adaptation planning.

Financing resilience finally taking off, matchmaking and silos largest obstacles

This year’s finance plenary was optimistic. All panelists agreed that we are finally living the true naissance of resilience and adaptation funding. But we are still not making adequate haste – especially considering that much of our collective available financial resources is sitting idle.

Blue-Green Infrastructure Makes for Solutions that Are Better, Healthier, Happier – and Less Costly, If You Count Correctly

Our green areas are devoured chunk by chunk through urban creep. Population growth and urbanisation are drivers, but old-fashioned thinking is the villain. Green and blue infrastructure represents the preferable alternative: a bright future that, according to panelist Bettina Dreiseitl-Wanschura, Managing Consultant, Ramboll Liveable Cities Lab: “I think will really lead to happiness”.

Inclusive Vulnerability Mapping – Discontents and Happy Amateurs Welcome

“Maps are always manifestations of power”, emphasizes researcher Carsten Butch from the University of Cologne. In doing so, he unknowingly summarized a Friday-morning session on constructing spatial knowledge of water-related vulnerabilities Maps are never objective; they have never been and will likely never become. Subjective choices are always part of their making and the end results always have differentiated consequences for different stakeholders. Contested parameter definition in a GIS environment, as well as selective use of data or data lacking, are examples as to why also modern maps should never be taken at face value, or at least not remain Read more

Rising Seas and Temperatures Raises the Need for Streamlining

To streamline something is to design for easy movement; to make more efficient and effective through faster working methods. Even though resilience is sometimes contrasted with efficiency, the pressing issues we face means that the two must go hand in hand in the implementation of the former, was the common denominator between presentations on climate vulnerability and risk assessment by panelists from India, Indonesia, Portugal and New Zealand.