Cities are home to over 50% of the world’s population, a figure likely to rise to almost 70% by 2050. Supporting this trend requires urban development that is ‘smart’, efficient, sustainable, and resilient. A resilient city is a complex interconnected system. As such, building a future resilient city requires a systemic approach to integration of digital systems in the city. While digital systems can provide solutions that support city resilience, they may also pose challenges and risks to resiliency of the city.
Cities and city-regions globally are now embedding digital technologies and introducing new digital services to serve government, business and community users. People in cities depend on effective critical infrastructure systems (e.g. energy, water, transport, wastewater, solid waste and communications) and social infrastructure (e.g. health and social care, police and prisons, fire and emergency services) in their daily lives. All these services are increasingly underpinned by digital systems. As such, in the context of building resilient urban systems, there is an increasing importance to address both the resilience of digital systems and resilience through digital solutions.
Together with Resilient Cities Network, we explore the complex yet integral role of digital systems in our cities and reflect on the way digital technologies can both support and compromise urban resilience. The report provides recommendations for cities to support the integration of digital technologies and solutions in a manner that can enhance resilience.