Resilient Cities 2015 announces Photo Contest Winner and New Program

Photo Contest

Congratulations to Ms. Sayamon Saiyot, who won the Resilient Cities 2015 Photo Contest with the image featured above!

Sayamon is a student at the Yokohama National University, where she is conducting research on how to enhance community resilience against flooding in Thailand. Sayamon’s photo captured the contest theme – “Testimonies of resilience: Snapshots capturing successful climate change adaptation actions in your city or community” – in the most skillful and intuitive way. Her photo, entitled “Daily Life”, exhibits an everyday moment in the life of a traditional Thai community living with the reality of recurring floods.

Although Thai communities are accustomed to the annual “flood season”, in 2011 the country experienced an unusual and extreme flood event, affecting more than 13 million and claiming the lives of more than 800 people. Sixty-five of Thailand’s 70 provinces were declared flood disaster zones, including Bangkok and several major cities in central Thailand. This severe flood crisis reinforced the determination of local communities and their leaders to invest individually and collectively in climate change adaptation and resilience.

The water trail demarcating the 2011 flood level is visible on most buildings in Thai communities and serves as a reminder for all of the disaster. This reality has been captured in Sayamon’s photo, where the water trail – several meters above the ground – is clearly visible on the buildings in the background.

Ms. Saiyot has won a free pass to Resilient Cities 2015 and is looking forward to attending! For more information on the contest and to see the runners up, please click here.

Updated program

Highlights of the new Resilient Cities 2015 program include the Urban Food Forum and Finance Forum.

The Urban Food Forum will highlight innovative practices, strategies and policies from cities from Europe and the Global South in the field of urban food systems. Organized in cooperation with the RUAF Foundation and CITYFOOD Network, the Forum will feature a “Mayors and Decision Makers” panel and two technical sessions.

The Finance Forum will offer a special track of sessions exploring how cities, practitioners, and financial institutions are reinventing their approaches to increase the flow of resources to support urban resilience building. Panels and interactive session will discuss:

  • innovative financing mechanisms and approaches;
  • the role of Multilateral Funding Institutions
  • what local financial systems can bring to funding mechanisms for adaptation;
  • finance tools and approaches; and
  • city Case Studies (e.g. Copenhagen, New York, Latin American and African cities).

In addition, Resilient Cities 2015 will feature “Cities in Focus” sessions, which show how different cities approach similar questions around adaptation and overcome common challenges. Participants in these special sessions and interactive workshops have the opportunity to directly engage with cities and project stakeholders, to learn, to interact and to give critical feedback to peer cities and experts.

These special sessions include the “Adaptation on the Ground” Reality Check Workshops, a signature congress element focusing on the reality of climate change adaptation (usually) for a particular city, metropolitan region or town.

This year, three special “Cities in Focus” sessions will be organized to allow a close look into specific (but transferable) climate change adaptation and urban resilience strategies in four different cities: