The 2015 ICLEI World Congress was held in Seoul, Republic of Korea, on 8-12 April 2015. ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is the world’s leading network of 12 mega-cities, 100 super-cities and urban regions, 450 large cities, and 450 small and medium-sized cities and towns in 84 countries. The congress aimed to offer “practical solutions for local government leaders” and work towards “uniting cities to achieve global targets through local action”.
SC member Kuniyoshi Takeuchi participated, on 11 April, in the session “Cities at Risk: Reducing and responding to disasters and climate threats”. In particular, he discussed with speakers and other attendees the flagship project on municipal DRR, that is sponsored by the IRDR International Centre of Excellence Taipei.
The session had been announced as follows: “Cities are exposed to a multiplicity of risks from climate change and other hazards which cannot always be mitigated, even by the most proactive of adaptation plans. Rising sea levels, 100 year flood lines, and more frequent storms endanger urban infrastructure including water supply and wastewater systems, transportation corridors and buildings. The risk of land loss and inundation threatens devastation for coastal and floodplain populations, properties, ecosystems, and food supplies, disproportionally affecting the commerce and livelihoods of the urban poor. Habitable land is also being lost in tropical climate zones where changing temperate and precipitation patterns have increased the risk of vector-borne diseases. Cities may also be faced with other non-climate risks such as relocation due to industrial risks or polluted, degraded environments resulting mining or over-extraction of resources and water. Furthermore, local governments increasingly begin to address other considerations including – climate “refugees” / migrants, relocation, un-insurable and unsafe areas, planning for infrastructure that can fail safely(e.g. sacrificial first floors, back up systems, redundancy etc). In this session, local governments will present adaptation plans pre-empting these threats in the short and medium term with a focus on infrastructure and governance. Long term scenario building gives rise to the discussion of how cities will respond to these threats, and how exposed populations can prepare for or retreat from disaster, safely.”
IRDR will be participating at the next “Resilient Cities” conference, to be organized by ICLEI in Bonn, Germany, from 8 to 10 June 2015.