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CDIA Conducts Internal Learning Series on Urban Resilience

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With the increasing array of shocks and stresses that Asian cities are vulnerable with, and the ‘resilience’ element in project proposals sought by most downstream financiers, CDIA conducted an internal learning series on urban resilience in Manila on 9 September and 26 October 2016.

The two-part learning series was attended by CDIA, GIZ and ADB-UCCRTF (Urban Climate Change Resilience Trust Fund) staff who openly discussed, shared and agreed on the meaning of ‘resilient urban infrastructure’ and their benefits; and the different resilience criteria and indicators for project identification and preparation.

Joy Bailey, CDIA Environment and Resilience Specialist explained that the key idea of resilience is to move beyond ‘asset-based thinking’ to ‘systems thinking,’ thereby ensuring that resilience projects are not fragmented; and that they consider as many dimensions as possible. Cecil Astilla of the GIZ-Support to the Philippines in Shaping and Implementing the International Climate Regime Project supplemented that governance and leadership has an important role to play in enabling that paradigm shift.

Sasank Vemuri of ADB/UCCRTF posited that inclusiveness should be considered as a separate criteria of resilience, in addition to robustness, coordination and learning, responsiveness, diversity and flexibility, and redundancy. He also highlighted that resilience ‘to what,’ ‘for what,’ and for ‘whom’ should be answered when developing resilience projects.

The participants did not only have the chance to test their understanding of resilience as applied in project development. They also had the opportunity to know more about the energy, water supply, and other disaster preparedness initiatives of the ADB Headquarters, through a tour of its facilities.

Overall, the knowledge gained from the learning event are expected to pave for more synchronized efforts among CDIA, ADB/UCCRTF and GIZ staff in mainstreaming the resilience agenda in Asian cities.

 

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