City resilience standard launches

A new standard has been launched, designed to help cities protect critical resources and create and sustain opportunities for enterprise.

Developed by BSI with the support of the World Bank, UNISDR, UN Habitat, OECD and some 200 senior city stakeholders from UK cities, it is hoped the standard will contribute to the preservation of cities in the face of rapid urban expansion, climate change and disruptive events, such as pandemics.

Director of sectors at BSI, Anne Hayes, says the potential cost and risk around not building resilience into our cities is concerning. “As the impact following shocks, disasters or even social tension and disruption could devastate a city, its ability to recover will not be through luck and hope but by proper continuity preparation and its agility to respond,” she explained. “This standard supports those responsible to advise and guide them through the various scenarios from preparation to aftermath, to tackle future challenges and exploit opportunities.”

Among the representative cities involved in the developing of the new standard was Greater Manchester. Its deputy Mayor for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire, Beverley Hughes, says resilience has been a constant throughout the area’s history, and will continue to be in the future.

“Looking to the future, it remains critical as we continue to face risks associated with climate change, including flooding and rising temperatures; the increasing inter-connectivity of our world, such as supply chain failures; and other unexpected changes, shocks, and disruptions.

“Greater Manchester has long recognised the importance of resilience to our economic, institutional, and community well-being, and has been perfectly placed to work alongside others with the British Standards Institution in authoring and establishing this new resilience standard. This vital guidance will help cities across the UK to rigorously plan for the unexpected and ensure the continuing safety and security of their people and assets.”

It is estimated that three million people move to cities each week worldwide.

BS 67000 ‘City Resilience’ (Source: BSI)

The new standard can provide cities with the tools to enhance their ability to absorb and adapt in a changing environment, minimising the impact of disruption, shocks and stresses.

All parts of this standard have in some way been applied in cities somewhere in the world, and are captured within a framework that provides a path to future city resilience evolution.

That framework supports:

• Consistency in the language used within and between organisations;

• A reliable process to steer users through activities and interactions;

• A truly interoperable system so that resilient approaches can be developed incrementally, taking city scale and bespoke needs into account;

• The ability to share best practice and approaches to common issues;

• More agile planning, systems resilience and performance measures;

• A set of guidance documents that fit together to make the picture progressively coherent.

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