City Resilience Challenge – Mega City

Brief overview of the city and the challenge

Setting out the vision for a resilient city

Section 1: Mega city overview

The City Resilience Challenge was a 2-day workshop based initiative in which participants came together to address the real life challenges faced by cities, collaborating to establish a vision for city resilience alongside a strategy for achieving it. The exercise focussed on the challenges posed to cities around the globe by the stresses of mass urbanisation, climate change, and other unexpected shocks to the system. Cities contributing data to inform the design of the workshops include: Manchester, Melbourne, Glasgow, New York, Barcelona, Chennai, Bristol and Rio de Janeiro. The Mega City was one of four groups curated to ensure a breadth of knowledge, perspective and experience in each city. The mega city group was multidisciplinary and inclusive of key disciplines engaged in shaping the future of cities. They included people involved in city leadership and governance, design and construction, development and infrastructure, insurance and finance, technology and communications from all over the world. Participants were equipped with a brief reflecting a typical mega city political context, economic and social environment, as well as the particular challenges, attributes and resources. The Mega City group was led by an Appointed City Mayor Peter Head who organised them to establish a vision for their city’s resilience alongside a strategy for achieving it. This report was produced over just 2 days by a team of 60 people working collaboratively to formulate solutions and recommendations,with 9 groups working together to understand how risks can be mitigated and resilience can be built. A collaboratory was formed to help integration, data evidence and community participation and a finance and investment team supported the Mayor in deciding how the strategy could be funded. The group’s resulting city vision and strategy was The first stage of the work was to create a vision and this was done by participants posting their own social, economic and environmental proposals on the walls and then everyone voting for their 3 favourite objectives. This is the resulting list that was then used as the basis for designing the strategy investment proposals.

• Reducing CO2 emissions (90%-100%)
• Housing affordability
• 100% literacy and education including citizenship
• Social cohesion
• Environmental efficiency – self sufficiency to self reliance
• Diversify – energy, water and economic sector
• Energy independence – using waste as resource, rainwater harvesting, solar, geothermal
• Renew ageing infrastructure
• Improved waste and water management
• Universal access to healthcare
• 95% of residents would choose to work and live in their city It is surprising that food security was not raised as an issue when there is an opportunity for urban agriculture and to diversify the economy, which was outlined as a key objective above. In order to achieve this vision: We still need to:
• Understand the context of the city
• Identify functional flows
• Understand the spatial context
• Quickly identify metrics that we can make judgements on resilience performance
• Use an iterative process
• Achieve behaviour change as a cultural project Stepped vision
• Preserve romantic city – paradise/ world facing
• Preserve indigenous topography , landscape and wildlife diversity
• Achieve financial and social equity
• Reduce the concentration of population in the city core by creating 5 new transport hubs
• Maintain good housing and quality public space
• Support/ enhance existing community structures
• Support existing city and landscape character
• Achieve better carbon neutral connections
• Develop effective water control/ management / resilience structures
• Extend tourism experience
• Extend ‘greening’ – Incrementally
• Reduce soil loss through mega reforestation
• Increase connectivity and pedestrian ways / reduce numbers of journeys | 11 presented to the wider audience at the end of the summit. This mega city is in a tropical region, is coastal, has a current population of 15.0m, and with current growth rate of 1.5% will reach 18.7m in 2030. The participants chose to use Rio de Janeiro mainly as the example to work from.

Read the full report here: 


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