Resilience and resource efficiency in cities

AUTHOR(S): David Dodman, Loan Diep, and Sarah Colenbrander.
Pagg: 57

This report looks at the relationship between building the resilience of cities in the face of global environmental change, and increasing the resource efficiency of cities to reduce their harmful impacts on the environment. It provides examples of effective ways to address these agendas, as well as the potential and challenges for integration.

The report has three main sections: on resilience, on resource efficiency, and on the nexus between the two. For each concept, it explores the state-of-the-art in understanding and implementation – looking at definitions, characteristics, benefits, limitations and practical applications. It then explores the links between the principles, objectives, and initiatives associated with urban resilience and resource efficiency.

This report draws on theoretical and grey literature. More importantly, however, it is informed by the inputs of city officials from Africa, Asia and Latin America at a series of workshops on resource efficient cities held in 2013 and 2014. The case studies presented here – largely initiated by city officials – show how urban areas around the world are grappling with the different ecological and social challenges, and indicate potential avenues for other towns and cities to achieve the transformative commitments of the New Urban Agenda.

The report concludes that resource efficiency is an essential element to urban resilience, and that resource efficiency can be accomplished more effectively when it is built in the context of a resilient system. The conceptual analysis and case studies make it clear that considering these issues together can help planners to address global challenges, such as climate change and poverty