Milestone report on urban resilience

Authors: Matteo Bizzotto, Ayan Huseynova, Victoria Vital Estrada

This report uses the decade-long experience of the Resilient Cities Congress series as a proxy to track the evolution of the global resilience debate over the last ten years, creating a solid base to build the next decade of bold action.

It explores a variety of resilience approaches; for example, how multi-stakeholder planning has contributed to finance and boosted local resilience, or how leveraging nature-based solutions has enabled cities’ adaptation to climate change and improved people’s quality of life. The report also provides successful examples of social cohesion benefitting physical resilience, especially in informal settlements.

You can download the report here.

Resilient Cities 2019 daily digests and pictures

Get the updates and pictures from day 1 of Resilient Cities 2019.

Get the updates and pictures from day 2 of Resilient Cities 2019.

Get the updates and pictures from day 3 of Resilient Cities 2019.

Check out our City Talk blog for more stories and find all the pictures of the conference on our Flickr account: they are freely downloadable in high resolution!


It‘s 2009. The world has failed to reach a meaningful international climate agreement at COP15 in Copenhagen. Cities and regions are already feeling the significant effects of the changing climate. There is no sure path forward, but the need for local action on resilience is clear. So ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability launches the Resilience Cities Congress, bringing together resilience and local governments on a world stage for the first time. This is the story of the last ten years.

Resilient Cities 2019 at a glance

Program Highlights

CiBiX workshops: cities and businesses tackling together a resilience challenge with a critical sustainability lens.

How can cities prepare bankable projects that attract investors? How can they partner with funders?

How can cities reduce their risk? Where should they focus their attention and resources? Which examples can they follow?

Climate change is aggravating the intensity and frequency of natural disaster worldwide. Is your city ready to cope with the risk? Can that risk be transferred?

New challenges require new solutions. How can innovations in the resilient urban systems spur dynamic, desirable and healthy communities?

Resilience planning is a holistic approach that takes into consideration future economic, social and environmental developments, including climate change.

A day-long food track on sustainable lifestyle, nutrition and waste, key elements for true resilient urban food systems!

Addressing issues in a comprehensive and holistic manner through multi-stakeholder collaboration and multi-level governance.

Why are biodiversity conservation and nature-based solutions important for physical and social resilience?

UN-Habitat Maimunah Sharif address to RC2019

“We believe the solution to climate and urbanization challenges can be found in the combined and coordinated actions of local and national governments.” 

Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN‐Habitat

Webinar: Delivering Local Resilience

Why does your city urgently need to engage in resilience planning and building? What are the best ways to do it? ICLEI’s leading expertise and know-how about local resilience offered a blueprint showcasing the exceptional potential of resilient cities to recover from shocks and drive economic, environmental and social well-being. Click here to watch the full version of the webinar.


Our broader experience

Our numbers


Years of Activity







What is a Resilient City?

A ‘Resilient City’ is prepared to absorb and recover from any shock or stress while maintaining its essential functions, structures, and identity as well as adapting and thriving in the face of continual change. Building resilience requires identifying and assessing hazard risks, reducing vulnerability and exposure, and lastly, increasing resistance, adaptive capacity, and emergency preparedness.

Why us

For a decade, ICLEI Resilient Cities has been providing a global and open space where local governments, researches, businesses and civil society could meet as equals, contributing with their know-how to the advancement of urban resilience.

To celebrate our 10 years of experience and expertise-building in supporting cities thrive in face of challenges, this anniversary edition will present a 360° view on urban resilience: Pathways towards implementing resilience; Innovation in the realm of urban resilience; and Building cohesive, healthy and resilient communities.

Our Values and Trust

Our cutting-edge position in the realm of urban resilience and adaptation is a constant reflection of our values: knowledge-based, decade-long expertise; constant and transparent engagement with our partners; and unique know-how in connecting and supporting stakeholders, rather than thrusting measures “from above”.

During the years, our commitments and transparent activity have cultivated trust among our partners, which now recognize ICLEI Resilient Cities as the gravitational center of the resilience universe.

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