An approach for understanding disaster y Climate risk in cities
The World Bank
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Urban risk assessments
The rapid and often unplanned expansion of cities is exposing a greater number of people and economic assets to the risk of disasters and the effects of climate change. For city governments, increased climate variability imposes additional challenges to effective urban management and the delivery of key services, while for residents it increasingly affects their lives and livelihoods due to a greater frequency floods, landslides, heat waves, droughts or fires.There is an urgent need for cities to consider the issues of disaster and climate change by streamlining assessments of related risks in their planning and management processes and delivery of services.This paper proposes a framework for carrying out urban risk assessment, and seeks to strengthen coherence and consensus in how cities can plan for natural disasters and climate change. The Urban Risk Assessment (URA) was developed by drawing on lessons from existing efforts to assess risk in cities as well as urban planning literature. It was vetted through a consultative and collaborative process that included international development agencies, the public and private sectors and non-government organizations. It seeks to minimize duplicative efforts, and to bring convergence to related work undertaken by the World Bank and other key partner organizations1. The target audience for this report includes: (i) decision makers such as city managers, mayors, and those involved in developing national and local policies related to urban development, (ii) urban practitioners and technical staff at the municipal, regional, and national levels, and (iii) international organizations.The Urban Risk Assessment presents a flexible approach that project and city managers can use to identify feasible measures to assess a city s risk. It aims to provide key information needed to consider appropriate city-level responses to the risks posed by natural hazards and increased climate variability. The assessment aims to lay the groundwork for collaboration across multilateral agencies, the private sector, and city and national governments to begin benchmarking their own progress towards the reduction of urban risk. The goal is to establish a common foundation upon which urban risk assessments could periodically be performed, with the ultimate objectives being the quantification of risk and monitoring of progress towards improved resilience. The urban risk assessment methodology has been piloted in four cities (Mexico City, Jakarta, Dar es Salaam and Sao Paulo) and will be further refined with the support and guidance of various international agencies as it is rolled out globally.The proposed assessment methodology focuses on three reinforcing pillars that collectively contribute to the understanding of urban risk: a hazard impact assessment, an institutional assessment, and a socioeconomic assessment. The URA is designed to allow flexibility in how it is applied dependent on available financial resources, available data relating to hazards and its population, and institutional capacity of a given city. Through the URA s sequencing, which is linked to complexity and required investment, city managers may select a series of subcomponents from each pillar that individually and collectively enhance the understanding of urban risk.