COVID-19 is influencing all aspects of our lives: from health and well-being to our economy, society and environment. Keen to contain the damage caused and be better prepared for the future, the concept of ‘the resilient city’ has gained a lot of attention in China.
Cities are ever-more complex systems, a fact reflected in our city clients’ comprehensive demands. For us, building a resilient city requires us to improve collaboration between different disciplines, across departments and with multiple stakeholders. In addition to traditional urban planning and design, transportation and infrastructure design teams, the planning and implementation of resilient cities also requires the participation of many other professional teams involved in digitalisation, urban strategy, public health, industrial economy, energy, water, waste, architecture and other related disciplines.
The pandemic has also highlighted the importance of governance. The way municipalities run cities must shift in focus from management to governance, involving more stakeholders from the city in the decision-making process. This will help ensure all of the different levers a city has as its disposal will be used in the planning and response to unforeseen events. This will make the city more resilient and better equipped at taking care of the more vulnerable. This experience has highlighted the value of cities working together across the world and sharing knowledge and information globally. Greater collaboration will help eliminate bias, but also help people deal with incidents faster and much more effectively based on each other’s shared experience.