Resilient Cities - Bonn 2010 - Banner

Resilience: Stability through flexibility

Even the most eco-efficient city could be hit by a natural or industrial disaster, destroying buildings, infrastructure, the local economy and the well-being of people.

Resilience to these threats is thus a key component of sustainability.
Resilience is a community’s capacity to respond to disaster, risk and unexpected change in a creative, proactive, preventive and adaptive way. Resilience mitigates crises.

A resilient community can minimize its vulnerabilities through a practical approach to risks, accounting for social, economic, environmental and technical vulnerabilities.

Poverty, the proximity to a large body of water and a local government's capacity to plan are examples of social, environmental and political variables that inform vulnerability.

To be sustainable, a community must improve its level of resilience in proportion to its vulnerabilities and the threats it faces. The effects of climate change are already posing a greater number of risks – many of which are unpredictable and all of which are sure to expose the weakest points of an urban environment.