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City Resilience Framework

This is a good example of:

a framework for dealing with both long term stress and short term shocks in communities.


According to the Rockefeller Foundation report Resilient Cities, “resilience is the capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses, and systems within a city to survive, adapt, and grow no matter what kinds of chronic stresses and acute shocks they experience. 100 Resilient Cities takes the view that resilience enables cities to evaluate their exposure to specific shocks and stresses, to develop a proactive and integrated plan to address those challenges, and to respond to them more effectively.”

The 12-page document presents a framework for addressing stress and shock as follows:


Chronic Stresses – Stresses weaken the fabric of a city on a day-to-day or cyclical basis. Examples of these stresses include high unemployment; an overtaxed or inefficient public transportation system; endemic violence; and chronic food and water shortages.

Acute Shocks –  Shocks are the sudden, sharp events that threaten a city, including earthquakes, floods, disease outbreaks, and terrorist attacks.

Qualities of Resilient Cities

Reflectiveness – reflective cities use experience to inform future decisions, and will modify standards and behaviors accordingly.

Resourcefulness – people and institutions are able to recognize alternative ways to use resources at times of crisis.

Robustness – Robust design is well-conceived, constructed and managed and includes making provision to ensure failure is predictable, safe, and not disproportionate to the cause.

Redundancy – Redundancy refers to spare capacity purposely created to accommodate disruption due to extreme pressures, surges in demand or an external event.

Flexibility – Flexibility refers to the willingness and ability to adopt alternative strategies in response to changing circumstances or sudden crises.

Inclusiveness – Inclusive processes emphasize the need for broad consultation and ‘many seats at the table’ to create a sense of shared ownership or a joint vision to build city resilience.

Integrated – Integrated processes bring together systems and institutions and can also catalyze additional benefits as resources are shared and actors are enabled to work together to achieve greater ends.

The Framework

The Community Resilience Framework is built on four essential dimensions of urban resilience: Health & Wellbeing, Economy & Society, Infrastructure & Environment, and Leadership & Strategy. Each dimension contains three “drivers,” which reflect the actions cities can take to improve their resilience.

Dimension 1 – Health & Wellbeing: The health & wellbeing of everyone living and working in the city.

Driver 1: Meets Basic Needs: Provision of essential resources required to meet a person’s basic physiological

Driver 2: Supports Livelihoods and Employment: Livelihood opportunities & support that enable people to secure their basic needs. Opportunities might include jobs, skills training, or responsible grants &

Driver 3: Ensures Public Health Services: Integrated health facilities & services, & responsive emergency services. Includes physical & mental health, health monitoring & awareness of healthy living & sanitation.

Dimension 2 – Economy & Society: The social & financial systems that enable urban populations to live peacefully, and act

Driver 4: Promotes Cohesive and Engaged Communities: Community engagement, social networks & integration. These reinforce collective ability to improve the community & require processes that encourage civic engagement in planning & decision-making

Driver 5: Ensures Social Stability, Security and Justice: Law enforcement, crime prevention, justice, & emergency

Driver 6: Fosters Economic Prosperity: While Driver 2 is about individual livelihoods, Driver 6 is about the economy on a wider scale. Important economic factors include contingency planning, sound management of city finances, the ability to attract business investment, a diverse economic profile & wider linkages.

Dimension 3 – Infrastructure & Environment: Effective leadership,empowered stakeholders, and integrated planning.

Driver 7: Enhances and Provides Protective Natural & Man-Made Assets: Environmental stewardship, appropriate infrastructure, effective land use planning & enforcing regulations. Conservation of environmental assets preserves the natural protection afforded to cities by ecosystems.

Driver 8: Ensures Continuity of Critical Services: Diversity of provision, redundancy, active management & maintenance of ecosystems & infrastructure, & contingency planning

Driver 9: Provides Reliable Communication and Mobility: Diverse & affordable multi- modal transport networks & systems, ICT & contingency planning. Transport includes the network (roads, rail, signs, signals etc.) public transport options & logistics (ports, airports, freight lines etc.)

Dimension 4 – Leadership & Strategy: The way in which man-made & natural infrastructure provide critical services and protects urban citizens.

Driver 10: Promotes Leadership and Effective Management: Relating to government, business & civil society. This is recognizable in trusted individuals, multi-stakeholder consultation, & evidence-based decisionmaking.

Driver 11: Empowers a Broad Range of Stakeholders: Education for all, This access to up-to-date information, & knowledge to enable people & organizations to take appropriate action. Along with education & awareness communication is needed to ensure that knowledge is transferred between stakeholders & between cities.

Driver 12: Fosters Long-Term and Integrated Planning: Holistic vision, informed by data. Strategies/plans should be integrated across sectors & land-use plans should consider & include different departments, users & uses. Building codes should create safety & remove negative impacts

URL link to Main Resource:

Project Location :

New York, NY

Development Context:





Rockefeller Foundation, ARUP

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