OECD work on Cities

Resilient cities


Faced with the increasingly severe impacts of climate change, economic crises, demographic changes and COVID-19, cities are exposed to shocks. However, cities can mitigate risks and respond with policies reinforcing inclusive urban resilience. 

  • What's the issue?

Cities are vulnerable to a range of hazards and shocks. The frequency of climate-related natural disasters has increased globally, while the accelerating industrial transition may have disruptive economic impacts. At the same time, the COVID-19 crisis has exposed the dire consequences of limited preparedness and resilience when facing a global emergency. Environmental degradation, growing inequalities within society and deep economic interconnections have exacerbated the spread and impact of COVID-19, which disproportionately affects vulnerable groups and has widened existing divides such as socio-economic inequity in cities.

Cities play a significant role in responding to such challenges. They are key actors investing in climate-resilient urban infrastructure, supporting businesses and communities most affected by economic crises and working together with other levels of government. The capacity to maintain and enhance resilience to future shocks and stresses, whether from known challenges like climate change or unanticipated pandemics, underpins good urban policymaking and governance in order to drastically reduce risk exposure and build back greener, smarter and more inclusive cities. 


  • What can the OECD offer?

OECD work on urban resilience aims to: i) identify policy challenges in differing geographic, socio-economic and environmental contexts related to urban resilience, such as disaster risk management in cities; ii) assess the impacts of current urban resilience policy practices; and iii) propose more efficient and effective policy and governance options in order to enhance urban resilience. A particular focus is placed on climate-related urban resilience, identifying policy synergies and complementary alignments between urban resilience and urban green growth policies.





For further information, please contact Tadashi Matsumoto, Head of Unit, Sustainable Development and Global Relations.


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