Barcelona, Manchester, Helsingborg and Milan: The UN's new 'Resilience Hubs'

·2-min read
In Italy, Milan is promoting the use of green infrastructure to combat high temperatures in the city.

Four European cities have been named by the United Nations as "Resilience Hubs." Barcelona, Manchester, Helsingborg and Milan were chosen because of their local solutions for addressing climate risks and disasters. They will now serve as guides and mentors to encourage and support other cities in becoming more resilient.

On November 18, the cities of Barcelona, Spain, Greater Manchester, UK, Helsingborg, Sweden and Milan, Italy were named as the first four European "Resilience Hubs." Named as part of the Making Cities Resilient 2030 (MCR2030) initiative, launched in January 2021, the Hubs will serve to enhance city-to-city collaboration and inspire other communities to become more resilient to disasters.

“These Resilience Hubs exemplify the potential of cities to lead the way in disaster risk reduction and help build a more resilient world," said Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction and Head of UNDRR, which is behind the initiative.

Why were these cities selected?

From flood control to urban planning to green infrastructure, these cities are pursuing local policies that are recognized as inspiring and are "demonstrating leadership," notes the MCR2030.

Greater Manchester, for example, paid particular attention to flood risk in the city when revising its resilience strategy this year. This notably involves working with Moors for the Future, a partnership working notably on landscape design and flood prevention.

In Italy, Milan is promoting the use of green infrastructure to combat high temperatures in the city, with the Bosco Verticale buildings serving as examples. "In a world that constantly changes, resilience is the only possibility for a city to continue developing in a fair, inclusive, and sustainable way," said Milan mayor Giuseppe Sala.

Helsingborg, Sweden, is using technology to develop interactive maps that can simulate risk scenarios throughout the city, such as heavy rainfall, sea level rise or pollution.

When it comes to developing and implementing resilience policies, the "Hubs" will share their knowledge and expertise with other cities. Barcelona, for example, is currently serving as a mentor for policymakers in Tunis, Bogotá and Gaza City, the United Nations said in a statement.

Louis Bolla

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