Urban resilience is the key to stronger communities

Tuesday, 25 October, 2016

The Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC) has released a set of fact sheets on urban resilience: the capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses and systems within a city to survive, adapt and grow no matter what kind of stresses and shocks they may experience.

The fact sheets were developed by the ASBEC Resilience Task Group in collaboration with specialist resilience advisers from integrated infrastructure firm AECOM. The chair of the task group, Adrian Piani, said the sheets were designed for organisations involved in the planning, design, delivery and operation of the built environment.

“ASBEC’s aim is to help built environment sector professionals embed resilience thinking into their decision-making, and begin a discussion with stakeholders and supply chains,” Piani said.

Kieran Power, AECOM senior consultant – sustainability and resilience, added that each fact sheet provides a series of questions organisations can work through. He explained, “They provide a practical way for organisations to self-assess and gain an understanding of what resilience means to them and the projects they deliver.”

The fact sheets can be downloaded from the ASBEC website and cover the following:

  • Cities: Population growth is providing challenges in managing demands on available space, transporting people and goods, and keeping communities safe, cohesive, fulfilled and happy.
  • Infrastructure: Maintaining and expanding the critical infrastructure that provides Australians with high-quality utilities, transport, health care and other essential services will require significant investment from governments.
  • Housing: Available, affordable housing with access to employment, services and facilities is a major issue.

ASBEC President Professor Ken Maher said the initiative is part of ASBEC’s focus on community wellbeing and a more sustainable future.

“Urban resilience is not just about dealing with problems — it improves the wellbeing of communities by enhancing economic, environmental and social outcomes,” he said. “It is a model for good times as well as bad.”

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