UN-Habitat announces ten partner cities for the City Resilience Profiling Programme

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) announced today, the ten partner cities for its City Resilience Profiling Programme (CRPP). Working through partnerships with stakeholders including international agencies such as UNISDR, academic and research institutes, private sector actors, and NGOs, the CRPP will develop a comprehensive and integrated urban planning and management approach for profiling and monitoring the resilience of any city, to all plausible hazards.

The tools and guidelines developed under the Programme will be tested and refined in: Balangoda (Sri Lanka), Barcelona (Spain), Beirut (Lebanon), Dagupan (Philippines), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Lokoja (Nigeria), Portmore (Jamaica), Concepcion/Talcahuano (Chile), Tehran (Iran), and Wellington (New Zealand). These cities – were selected based on the proposals submitted to UN-Habitat against its call for proposals in November 2012, and represent a good balance of geographical and economic distribution, population size, hazard profiles, and commitment to the resilience agenda.

The Executive Director, Dr. Joan Clos, welcomes the partnership with all ten city governments, and looks forward to achieving our mutual goals of; reducing loss of lives and assets, protecting development gains, and ensuring continuity of public and private services through any potential crises impacting cities throughout the world. UN-Habitat is also grateful for the contributions by the City of Barcelona which includes hosting the office of the secretariat of the Programme. Furthermore, UN-Habitat highly appreciates the speech made at the Governing Council of UN-Habitat by Mr. Yosuke Wakabayashi, Deputy Director-General, National and Regional Policy Bureau, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of the Government of Japan "to support this Programme by sharing its rich experience, knowledge and technologies in disaster risk reduction field". UN-Habitat encourages support for the balance of the programme funding from other donor partners.

Partner city profiles:
Balangoda (Sri Lanka): Located in southern Sri Lanka, the city has a population of 23,220, and is mainly prone to landslides and floods due to recurrent cyclones. The city recently established a unit within its city council for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.

Barcelona (Spain): Barcelona is one of the major cities in Europe with a strong commitment to building urban resilience with its Urban Resilience Board for Infrastructure and Services Supply to counter the impact of various types of crises and to strengthen infrastructures and services supply capacities.

Beirut (Lebanon): Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon. The estimates of Beirut's population range from as low as 938,940 to less than two million. It is a coastal city and prone to earthquakes and associated tsunamis. The City is highly committed to building disaster risk management with the collaboration of the National Government. Currently Beirut city is preparing its disaster response plan and assessing the impact of its major potential disaster to enhance further its resilience.

Dagupan (Philippines): A city with over 163,000 citizens with a multi-hazard profile of earthquakes, floods, cyclones, tsunami, among others. The city has established a full-time unit in charge of disaster preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation.

Dar es Salaam (Tanzania): One of the largest cities in Africa with roughly 5 million inhabitants, prone to recurrent floods. The city is now developing a Disaster Risk Resilient Strategic Plan to address all potential hazards.

Lokoja (Nigeria): A rapidly urbanizing city with a population of over 500,000, experiencing a huge flood in 2012, and several residential areas in vulnerable, low-lying neighborhoods in the city.

Portmore (Jamaica): A city with approximately 250,000 inhabitants, prone to hurricanes, sea surge, floods and earthquakes. The city has developed a Disaster Preparedness Programme in 2004 to cope with the recurrent hurricanes in the region.

Concepción /Talcahuano (Chile): Concepción and Talcahuano are part of the greater metropolitan area of the Bio Bio Region, located in the south central coast of Chile. They were both struck in 2010 by an 8.8 catastrophic earthquake and subsequent tsunami. The "Talcahuano 2020" plan encompasses its views and strategies on reconstruction.

Tehran (Iran): Tehran has experienced 4 major earthquakes of over Magnitude 5 since the 1960s and established the Tehran Disaster Mitigation and Management Organization, winning the Sasakawa International Award for Disaster Reduction.

Wellington (New Zealand): Surrounded by sea and intersected by two major tectonic plates, Wellington is exposed to a wide range of hazards – from earthquakes to floods, to landslides and storm surges. The city has been conducting extensive research and education programmes and a significant expenditure has been committed for mitigating disaster impacts.

Source: UN-Habitat