Resilient Cities 2014 – Some highlights from Day One

It’s the end of the first day of the ICLEI Resilient Cities conference. As is the norm with good conferences, there were more good sessions offered than I could attend, but here are a few of the highlights and take-aways from today:

  • Every presenter, facilitator, and panelist I saw somehow mentioned the need for partnerships, collaboration, and working across silos. Few have discussed HOW to do this (although I think one of the sessions I didn’t attend touched on it). They Mayor from Bonn even said that 2014 is the year of alliances.
  • This is truly a global conference – there are attendees and presenters from all over the world. The topic is really seen as one with global relevance.
  • The economic development sector, and alignment with the economic priorities of cities, is often missing from local government climate change mitigation and adaptation planning. This signals that we’re often missing great opportunities. Other really interesting finds from the Urban Climate Change Governance Survey here: http://www.urbanclimatesurvey.com/
  • There are impacts to climate change that I’d never even thought of. Things like the recent flooding in Bosnia that has moved many of the 120,000 unexploded landmines that were previously marked.
  • In a surprisingly good and opinionated video address to our conference delegation, the Prince of Wales bashed climate change skeptics and the ‘headless chickens’ of our society. Even my jet-lagged brain got a laugh out of that.

Those are just a few, but it’s time to head to dinner at the Bonn Museum! I hope to post more later, along with some further reflections on the day.

Written by Jody Rechenmacher
Infrastructure Consultant
Urban Systems

(Read more of Jody’s musings here: http://jodyrechenmacher.wordpress.com/ )

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