CDIA-Partner Cities Showcase Initiatives at Resilient Cities Conference
May 23, 2017
Urban resilience has been widely recognized in recent years as a cross-cutting issue for all levels of government to address. It encompasses not only environmental and climate change threats, but also disaster and a host of socio-economic risks.
To demonstrate how Asian cities tackle resilience challenges through infrastructure development, two CDIA-partner cities from Bangladesh – Khulna and Gazipur shared their initiatives at the 8th Global Forum on Urban Resilience and Adaptation held on 4-6 May 2017 in Bonn, Germany. Organized by ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability, the event brought together representatives from over 50 local governments, partners, and key stakeholders to exchange ideas and catalyze action towards integrated urban resilience solutions.
Md. Hamidul Hoque, Deputy Project Director of the City Region Development Project (CRDP) served as a panelist for discussions on “Unexplored Aspects of Transportation in Urban Resilience.” Mr. Hoque shared with 40 participants their initiatives in implementing the KfW co-funded project, “Pro-poor and Green Urban Transport in Khulna, Bangladesh.” CDIA helped to plan for this project beginning 2008. Their holistic approach paved the way not only to address the transport needs of the city, but also to strengthen its resilience against climate change, and improve mobility and access of its poor population.
Meanwhile, Md. Moinul Islam, Senior Urban Planner from Gazipur City served as panelist for the topic on “Urban Health in a Changing Environment: Challenges and Opportunities.” Mr. Islam shared with the 45 participants how well-coordinated development projects in drainage and flood control, solid waste management, sanitation, and water supply among others can help improve public health. He further highlighted the importance of ensuring that development projects are climate resilient and respectful of the environment. Mrs. Claudia Hermes, CDIA Program Coordinator observed this panel discussion; and accordingly, one key takeaway from the session was that, “urban health concerns us all. According to the international panelists, urbanization seems to be one of the three principal drivers that contribute to the emergence of epidemic dengue.”
Together with the rest of the 400 participants of the conference, both speakers called for building coalitions and partnerships at all levels to face present and future challenges. As Mr. Hoque creatively put, “building resilience is a collective business. We must build durable bridges between and within communities, sectors, countries and regions.”