affirmed that for
the first time
in history, more than half of humanity is urban-based. This is expected
to grow to 70% by 2050, represented by
6.4 billion people.
The greatest amount
of growth is expected
to occur in secondary
cities of developing
countries, those with
current populations below 500,000. Migration to
cities will continue
because of economic,
political and social
factors, especially among low-income countries2. Vulnerable,
usually poor populations are like to settle
in marginal and
hazardous areas. To
illustrate, the number of people
living in floodplains of urban
areas may rise, by 2060, from:
- East Asia – 18
million 45–67 million
– 35–59 million
South East Asia
– 7 million in 2000 to 30–49 million
Africa – 26–36.
particularly those with urban poor communities, face long-term challenges in
ensuring the well-being of their inhabitants. These challenges are partly a
result of direct and indirect impacts of climate change, and are often compounded
by preexisting vulnerability. Urban resilience is the capacity of cities to
function, so that the people living and working in cities particularly the porr
and vulnerable, survive and thrive no matter what stresses or shocks they
useful in addressing climate risk and unexpected events, and in enhancing
ef orts to survive and thrive in the
context of climate change.3 Urban climate change resilience (UCCR)
embraces climate change adaptation, mitigation actions, and disaster risk reduction
while recognizing the complexity of rapidly growing urban areas and the uncertainty
associated with climate change. This approach places greater emphasis on
considering cities as dynamic systems capable of evolving and adapting to survive
and even thrive in the face of volatile shocks or stresses.
of urban communities to recover from disasters and disturbances in a
sustainable way, maintain a good quality of life and increase its coping
capacity to reduce the damages from an unpredictable disaster or disturbance.
Resilient urban communities are better prepared for uncertain and able to adapt
to changing conditions.
released its Global Risks Report and included a section on resilience in the
report. It is the first such report of the forum that discusses the global
risks from resilience perspective. The report identifies five components of
national resilience that are very applicable for the urban context. What are
the five components ?
robustness, redundancy, resourcefulness, response and recovery (5R).4
Robustness refers to the ability to absorb and withstand disaster and
disturbance. Redundancy is the excess capacity to enable the maintenance of
core functions in the event of disasters and disturbances.
Resourcefulness involves the ability to adapt and respond flexibly to disaster
and disturbances, and transform a negative impact into a positive one. Response
means the ability to mobilize quickly in the face of disturbance. Recovery is
the ability to regain normality after a disaster or disturbance.
resilience refers to the development of these five components in the urban
system, including buildings, infrastructure and communities. Building urban
resilience is a long term program and requires coordination among stakeholders
in the city including government agencies, private companies and residents to
prepare for, withstand and recover stronger from disaster, disruptions and
Rockefeller Foundation announced the Centennial Challenge of 100 Resilient
Cities. The foundation received nearly 400 applications from cities around the
world ranging from thousand-year-old cities to mega-cities dealing with rapid
urbanization. A panel of judges, including former president Bill Clinton,
reviewed the applications particularly on how the cities are approaching and planning
for resilience and their commitment to building a resilient city.
selected the first set of 33 cities for the foundation’s 100 Resilient Network.
The 33 selected cities include Semarang, Melbourne, New York City, San
Francisco, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Ramalah, Rotterdam, Rome, Rio de Jainero,
Mexico City and Dakar. These cities have implemented innovative programs and
demonstrated positive results for resilience.
Orleans had experience from dealing with and rebounding from hurricanes Katrina
and Isaac and the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and learned important lessons about
being a resilient city. Similarly, New York City has learned valuable lessons
from Hurricane Sandy and developed programs to protect its residents from
coastal flooding and sea level rise that could lead to replicable models for
other coastal cities.
for increasing resilience and lessons learned in recovering from disasters and
catastrophes from those selected cities should be introduced to other cities
for possible replication, including to Indonesian cities. Jakarta and other
Indonesian cities should prepare for possible catastrophic disruptions and
should develop systems to recover. Semarang was selected because it has
innovative programs to address flash floods and tidal flooding. These include
rainwater harvesting, vetiver grass plantation, mangrove rehabilitation and
early warning system for floods and vector-borne diseases.
became a part
of the Asian Cities
Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN)5
programme, funded by Rockefeller Foundation, in 2009. The city’s government has
worked to develop
a Climate Resilience
Strategy (CRS). This
defines prioritised actions reducing vulnerability to climate change. A
city working group (CWG) comprising government officials, local NGOs and academics,
leads ACCCRN involvement. The Local Development
Planning Board (BAPPEDA)
oversees CWG management
and responsibilities in planning,
and use of
public development funds.
The CWG structure enables integration of ACCCRN
activities into city planning processes and budget cycles.
The implementation of
this integrated process
and how it
succeeded in incorporating climate
change into city
planning in Semarang.
The key processes
of resilience planning discussed
here are similar
to sister programs
in another eight ACCCRN cities among three other
countries. Yet there are a number of approaches that were key to facilitating
the process in Indonesia, given local context:
engagement with local
government and NGOs
inception: This engagement
was significant in
building government support and
developing a platform
for civil society engagement, which then eased
integration of the CRS into city planning.
sectoral studies relevant
to city planning:
This contributed significantly
to legitimizing selection
of local issues
to be addressed.
Shared Learning Dialogues
(SLDs): Cities held
a large number of
iterative SLDs, which
facilitated identification of
city needs that ACCCRN could
address, and dissemination of related progress.
government officials able to remain in their positions long enough to lead a
sustainable resilience planning process was a major challenge, among
others. ACCCRN’s overall achievement has
led the program to be recognized by local and national governments,
and formed a platform
for self-funded replication
elsewhere by municipal
governments. In Semarang, the CWG has since become responsible for climate projects
outside ACCCRN. In recognition of this, Indonesia’s Ministry of Environment is considering
designating Semarang a national pilot Resilient City.
building urban climate resilience needs an integrated partnership among the
stakeholders. Other Indonesian cities should learn from Semarang and other
selected cities and have systems in place to recover, persist or even thrive
Population Fund, The
state of the
world population report,
2007, United Nations Population Fund: New York
For Science and
Migration and global environmental change, 2011: London.
Cities Climate Change Resilience Network. 2013.
ACCCRN City Projects
Rukmana. 2013. Building Urban Resilience. The Jakarta Post. http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2013/12/21/building-urban-resilience.html#sthash.P8J8e1BT.dpuf
accessed on October 1, 2015.