The Council of Capital City Lord Mayors (CCCLM) are taking a leadership role among Australian governments in promoting urban resilience.

Australia’s cities are facing a range of increasing physical, social and economic challenges, resulting from acute shocks that threaten a city such as natural disasters, disease outbreaks and extremist acts. Chronic stresses that weaken the fabric of a city on an on-going basis include increases in populations, climate change, high unemployment and public transport systems under pressure.

The total annual economic cost of natural disasters alone in Australia is forecast to rise from $9 billion today to $33 billion each year by 2050.   Much of this risk to our economy and our people is now concentrated in cities.

Better investment in social and community resilience - pre and post-disaster - as well as recovery planning will support the ability of our cities to bounce back stronger from the challenges we inevitably face.

“Urban resilience is the critical capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses and systems within a city to survive, adapt and grow no matter what kind of stresses and shocks they may experience,” said Lord Mayor Katrina Fong Lim, CCCLM Chair and Lord Mayor of Darwin.

“Smart cities are resilient cities.

“The resilience of our cities is the responsibility of all levels of government, and the CCCLM is meeting with its Federal counterparts at Parliament House over the next two days to discuss how the Federal Government and capital cities can most effectively work together.”

“The key is to embed resilience planning into government decision-making,” she added.

“This is particularly important at the Federal and State/Territory levels, which has responsibility for critical policy areas including emergency services, health, communications, infrastructure, the environment and economic development.

“Cities matter, and the capital cities look forward to working co-operatively with the Federal Government to align policies and programs to achieve co-ordinated urban resilience outcomes,“ Lord Mayor Fong Lim concluded.

Joining the Lord Mayors in Canberra will be Michael Berkowitz, who is the President of 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation.  Mr Berkowitz will be making a key note presentation on Wednesday evening outlining how cities and governments around the world are addressing urban resilience.