Sharing Knowledge to Respond with Resilience

A weekly session organized by the Global Resilient Cities Network and the World Bank as a knowledge sharing session for cities in response to the rapidly evolving Covid-19 situation.

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Each week The University of Manchester and the Global Resilient Cities Network aim to bring together international lessons and examples which may prompt your thinking on response to, and recovery from, Covid-19. The lessons are taken from websites (e.g. UN, WHO), academic documents, webinars, and other sources. We hope to bring you lessons from Covid-19 from experts in civil protection, resilience and recovery.


Cities can effectively respond to the Covid-19 outbreak and protect the most vulnerable by ensuring access to reliable data, agile decision making, as well as proactive and reflective planning. As the crisis develops at a fast pace, local governments face urgent questions on how to reinitiate disrupted city services and how to support vulnerable populations during subsequent stages of the crisis. Whilst the impacts of the Covid-19 crisis in our cities depend on their resilience, integrating further resilience qualities into recovery activities now represents a tangible opportunity for cities to build back better and achieve better human health and wellbeing outcomes in the long term.

Planning the recovery in a manner that is responsive and relevant to the ongoing crisis demands cities go beyond the linearity of conventional planning and integrate agile decision making and feedback loops whilst science, data and the understanding of the situation evolves. Based on existing methods and best practices, Global Resilient Cities Network and its Chief Resilience Officers are co-designing and identifying suitable methodologies to enable cities to plan a resilient recovery. The toolkit includes a combination of methods: a number that cities can use on their own, as well as others that involve collaboration with GRCN.

Our suite of tools enables each city to define their own path to recovery by considering four iterative stages of work that include: assessing and analyzing the situation, defining a portfolio of action, improving the proposals, and deepening learning. Characterized by their place-based approach, the methods help local governments to identify opportunities that include not only physical solutions – such as rethinking our streets’ layout to optimize pedestrian and cycling mobility – but also cultural practices and governance arrangements to achieve carbon neutrality in the long term.

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The Resilience Fundamentals Course provides city practitioners and partners with a clear understanding of resilience context, theory, and definitions. The course will introduce resilience frameworks and their application to enable practitioners to embed resilience thinking into their work and achieve multiple resilience outcomes effectively ‘doing more with less.’ This course provides a foundation for the deployment of tools and for project development for cities moving into Covid-19 recovery as part of the Cities for a Resilient Recovery.

“I really enjoyed being able to test the practical application of the resilience framework. I’ve already used this to spark greater discussions back within the organization.” Resilience Fundamentals course participant.

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