city resilience index; city resilience index;

City Resilience Index, Multiple

The City Resilience Index supported by the Rockefeller Foundation

Resilience is a critical urban development agenda. Building resilience in cities requires an understanding of both what contributes to resilience and how it can be measured. To address this gap, Arup has developed the City Resilience Framework and the City Resilience Index with support from the Rockefeller Foundation. These tools provide cities with a comprehensive, accessible, technically robust and globally applicable basis for assessing and measuring resilience at a city scale.

The Framework

Resilience Framework provides a holistic, practical and evidence-based definition of urban resilience. It identifies 12 goals or outcomes which contribute to the city’s ‘immune system’, across four critical dimensions of city resilience:

  • People: The health and well-being of everyone living and working in the city

  • Organisation: The systems within the economy and society that enable urban populations to live peacefully, and act collectively

  • Place: The quality of infrastructure and ecosystems that protect, provide and connect us

  • Knowledge: Appropriate leadership and strategy enabling the city to learn from the past and take timely action

The City Resilience Index provides a comprehensive and technically robust basis for measuring city resilience that is globally applicable. It comprises 52 resilience indicators which are assessed through 156 questions, drawing upon both qualitative and quantitative data. Responses to these questions are aggregated and presented according to the 12 goals of the Framework. To date the Index has been tested in five cities: Shimla, India; Concepcion, Chile; Arusha, Tanzania; Hong Kong, China; and Liverpool, UK. The City Resilience Index is available as an interactive online assessment tool at www.cityresilienceindex.org.

Development of the Framework and Index has involved extensive research, expert consultation and city engagement across many countries. This is captured in a series of research reports and city case studies, available at the city resilience index website.

The City Resilience Index is underpinned by extensive, evidence-based research.

During the development of the City Resilience Framework, and later the Index, five reports that summarise the research findings have been created with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation.

Development of the Framework and Index has involved extensive research, expert consultation and city engagement across many countries. This is captured in a series of research reports and city case studies, available at the city resilience index website.

The City Resilience Index is underpinned by extensive, evidence-based research.

During the development of the City Resilience Framework, and later the Index, five reports that summarise the research findings have been created with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation.


Literature Review

Building on previous research on resilience by the Rockefeller Foundation and Arup, an initial literature review covered approximately 80 documents, including academic papers and practice-focused sources. The outcome of the literature review was to propose a unique performance-based approach, founded on the hypothesis that city resilience can be defined in terms of a city’s ability to fulfil and sustain its core functions so that human life and activity perpetuates. 

Download the Literature Review (.PDF, 8.4MB)

City engagement

Arup and local partners engaged with stakeholders from city government; private sector; and civil society in six cities globally: Cali, Colombia; Cape Town, South Africa; Concepción, Chile; New Orleans, United States; Semarang, Indonesia; and Surat, India. In total, 86 interviews, 35 focus group discussions and nine workshops were carried out, collecting data from 450 consultees across the six cities. 

Download the city engagement report (.PDF, 29MB)

Urban measurement

In order to understand motivations and processes associated with urban measurement prior to designing a tool, further research specifically focused on urban measurement. This included a review of secondary sources - academic literature and ‘grey literature’- relating to the use of indices (and indicators) and 24 existing urban and/or resilience. The resulting report specifically explores how indices are used by different frameworks and the merits, challenges, and utility of creating an index. 

Download the urban measurement report (.PDF, 5.6MB)

Measuring City Resilience

Building on the Literature Review and Urban Measurement reports, Arup carried out further research between December 2014 and November 2015. Its purpose was to define a comprehensive set of indicators, questions and metrics so that performance against each of the 12 goals in the City Resilience Framework can be assessed.

Lessons from the pilots

During July, September and October of 2015, the CRI was piloted in the cities of Hong Kong, China; Liverpool, England; Arusha, Tanzania; Concepción, Chile; and Shimla, India. Arup undertook up to three weeks of fieldwork in each city in partnership with city governments and a range of local organisations.

Download the City Resilience Index

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Our experts outline how the work we carry out on projects such as the City Resilience Framework, is helping cities to better understand resilience, develop city resilient strategies and enabling them to take the right action towards improving their resilience.