UN developing new standard on urban resilience

The UN is developing a new ISO standard for urban resilience, intended to help city leaders to face the new challenges arising from climate change and shifting demographics.

The standard would define a framework for urban resilience, clarify the principles and concepts, and help users to identify, implement and monitor appropriate actions to make their cities more resilient, according to UN-Habitat, the United Nations programme for human settlements.

The standard will have input from the UN team, which has 15 years of experience in the field, as well as that of international experts on the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) technical committee responsible for the standard, ISO/TC 292, Security and resilience, UN-Habitat said.

Esteban Leon, head of the city resilience profiling programme at UN-Habitat, stressed that a resilient city must assess, plan and act to prepare for and respond to all challenges, whether they be sudden or not.

“This is a tall order and most cities need clearer guidance on what this means in practice and how they can reach that goal,” Leon said “The ISO standard will support these cities and help them enhance the lives of people living there.”  

The new standard will also draw from other related ISO documents, and the expertise and experience in other ISO technical committees. These include a series of standards on security and resilience and the work of ISO/TC 268, Sustainable cities and communities.

It will contribute directly to UN Sustainable Development Goal SDG 11 Sustainable cities and communities, UN-Habitat said.

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