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ISO publishes its first document in the area of urban resilience

ISO/TR 22370:2020, Security and resilience — Urban resilience — Framework and principles has recently been published. Urban areas are projected to provide the living and work environment for two-thirds of the global population of close to 10 billion by 2050. Urban disasters have an increasingly costly local, regional, national and global socio-economic impact. For example, dramatic disaster events alone of the past decade have claimed over a million lives, affected more than 2.5 billion people and caused over $1 trillion in economic losses. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is more challenging in built-up urban areas owing to their density. In particular, informal settlements are ill prepared to implement the largely adopted global measures to curb the spread – handwashing, confinement and social distancing.

Partnership between ISO and UN Habitat 

UN Habitat led the early development of this framework, which involved extensive testing and modelling in urban areas all over the world, and the refinement and improvement of data acquisition, use and application.  In partnership with ISO’s Technical Committee on Security and Resilience, a working group developed the document as a Technical Report. 

Key Features 

The document outlines an approach which includes establishing a baseline (or a profile), based on metrics that can evaluate various dimensions of urban resilience and capture system’s weaknesses, vulnerabilities and strengths. Then concrete and prioritized actions to address risk and build resilience are developed. Following a multi-sectorial, multi-shocks and stresses and multi-scales approach, this framework is built on the understanding that urban areas function and urban systems, integrated and interdependent, regardless of their size, culture, location, economy and / or political environment. 

The framework targets holistic and multi-stakeholder resilience-building, as urban areas generally lack the capacity to operationalize actions, harness change, and improve the lives of their inhabitants on their own. This approach supports the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and other agreements, including: New Urban Agenda, Paris Agreement, and Sendai Framework. 

Amaya Celaya ( UN senior expert, European Commission H2020 expert-evaluator and expert member of ISO TC 292) explains that,Amaya

To become healthy and sustainable, cities need to achieve a resilient profile. Only the warranty of a safe environment and good urban performance will allow cities’ inhabitants to enjoy the possibilities and well-being everybody deserves.”

ISO/TR 22370:2020, Security and resilience — Urban resilience — Framework and principles is available from ISO national member bodies. It may also be obtained directly from the ISO Central Secretariat, respectively through the ISO Store  or by contacting the Marketing, Communication & Information Department.