Resilient Cities 2013 explores answers to the challenges of Climate Change

Bonn, Germany (2 June, 2013): Integrated solutions was the answer at Resilient Cities 2013. How should cities move towards adaptation and resilience to climate change was the question...

“If you love your grandchildren, hug them now and embrace our planet now. The global negotiations of the next three years related to climate, biodiversity, disaster risk reduction and universal sustainable development goals will determine the fate of our planet. Be a catalyst of change! We can make the change but it has to be bottom-up,” said David Cadman, President of ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability

Every year, since 2009, ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, with the City of Bonn, and other partners has been organizing the Resilient Cities Congress in Bonn, Germany. The Congress brings together local government leaders and climate adaptation experts from around the world. It serves as the meeting ground for innovative ideas, strategies for resilient urban planning and knowledge sharing. Sessions and forums were convened with the support of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Rockefeller Foundation and Siemens. Resilient Cities 2013 saw 528 participants, among whom there were 117 local government representatives from 60 cities.

In working towards integrated solutions, the World Mayors Council on Climate Change (WMCCC), signed the 2013 Bonn Declaration of Mayors under the leadership of Mayor Jürgen Nimptsch, of Bonn, Germany. The WMCCC also saw 11 new Mayors sign the Durban Adaptation Charter, committing to adapt to climate change.

Resilient Cities 2013 put food on the agenda with the Resilient Urban Food Systems Forum. Discussions revolved around questions such as: Can cities become more self-reliant in food? Sponsor, Plantagon, explored whether Green Real Estate foster better city-food planning? The Forum captured the attention of participants and led to the call for cities to recognize food systems and integrate them into planning for resilient cities.

The need for urban resilience strategies explored examples from the cities of Dar es Salaam,Tanzania and Vancouver, Canada in the Resilient Cities Reality Check Workshops. Dar es Salaam faces the challenge of accommodating the needs of a rapidly growing population and is looking into risk-based land use plans to guide local infrastructure projects. Vancouver showcased its “Talk green to us” campaign under which they plan to be the greenest city in the world by 2020.

In addition, the Building and Construction Forum supported by the US Green Building Council at Resilient Cities 2013 addressed issues that Dar es Salaam and Vancouver are facing: the need for infrastructure design technology that incorporates urbanization while adapting to climate change.

In helping cities move towards action, climate financing was extensively explored at Resilient Cities 2013. “It’s very difficult to access these funds in developing countries, money devalues so quickly that whatever we get now will be worth less in three years. Funders and donors also set strict parameters that make it excruciatingly difficult for us to access funds,” said Mussa Natty, Municipal Director, Kinondoni, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Cities need financial support to put their plans into action and some financial institutions are listening through the implementation of ideas such as direct access to climate financing.

Cities such as Dar es Salaam and Vancouver demonstrate the mood in cities around the world. The importance of a resilient future cannot be denied and cities around the world want to start addressing their vulnerabilities. They are ready and need to move from assessment and planning into action!


For interviews, more information and articles contact:

Katrina Borromeo
Head of Communications
ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability

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