Urban Hazard Mitigation: Creating Resilient Cities


Cities are complex and interdependent systems, extremely vulnerable to threats from both natural hazards and terrorism. This paper proposes a comprehensive strategy of urban hazard mitigation aimed at the creation of resilient cities, able to withstand both types of threats. The paper reviews hazard mitigation practice, defines a resilient city, considers the relationship between resilience and terrorism, and discusses why resilience is important and how to apply its principles to physical and social elements of cities. Contending that current hazard mitigation policy, practice, and knowledge fail to deal with the unique aspects of cities under stress, the paper recommends a major resilient cities initiative, including expanded urban systems research, education and training, and increased collaboration among professional groups involved in city building and hazard mitigation.