From tomorrow (2 March) the Resilient Cities Asia-Pacific congress (RCAP) in Melaka, Malaysia will welcome participants from across the region to share knowledge on urban resilience. The program for the event makes clear how much is involved in building resilience in cities.
Some of the issues are unsurprising. All cities require finance to implement resilience strategies. As with other aspects of sustainability, cities often struggle to attract investments for resilience projects, with development banks and other funding agencies wary of taking risks in developing countries. The RCAP program features a dedicated plenary and a series of thematic sessions to address this.
Other aspects of the RCAP program address less obvious topics. Two sessions will consider issues around informal settlements in cities. These kinds of settlements are often the most heavily affected by shocks and stresses. Improving resilience in informal settlements not only increases social cohesion and reduces inequality but raises the resilience of the city as a whole.
The challenges faced by certain cities are not the same as those faced by others. This is particularly true in the Asia-Pacific region. One session at RCAP will focus on Small Island States. These states are on the front lines of the fight against climate change, confronted by rising sea levels and worsening storms. Building resilience in these areas requires a specific set of policies.
It’s also important to mobilize all constituencies to increase resilience. That’s why one plenary at RCAP is devoted to youth and resilience, exploring the extent to which young people are currently engaged in resilient practices and assessing how they can be encouraged to participate. Around the world, we see more and more young people heavily involved in international debates around climate change and sustainability. This growth will continue, and it is important for resilience to be a part of the debates that young people are having.
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Featured image: “Chitty Village, Malacca” by Chongkian via Wikimedia.