The Innovate4Cities conference, held from 11-15 October, was a unique opportunity to bring together city leaders, researchers, policy makers, businesses, innovators and students to discuss urban solutions, and collate innovative research and science to help cities tackle climate change.
Co-hosted by UN-Habitat and the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM), the conference came at a crucial time as climate negotiations and activities ramp up ahead of COP26.
We were excited to present a number of sessions at the conference, covering a range of topics relevant to resilience in urban infrastructure. The below sessions were run by The Resilience Shift and our strategic partners, Resilience First and the International Coalition for Sustainable Infrastructure (ICSI). Recordings of all sessions are available to stream at the below links.
Urban Water Resilience and the City Water Resilience Approach
This session explored how urban water resilience brings benefits to all of society as well as climate resilience. Climate change, population growth and increasing urbanisation has put increased pressure on our water systems. The City Water Resilience Approach is a multi-stakeholder systems-structured methodology which takes a city from understanding its urban water shocks and stresses to supporting the development of interventions to build its resilience.
This session features the voices of the city water leaders who have adopted the CWRA process and progressed the implementable solutions identified, as well as the needs of cities currently embarking on the process.
Hosted by: The Resilience Shift/Arup
Presenters: Martin Shouler (Arup), Louise Ellis (The Resilience Shift), Peter (Cape Town Drought Response Learning Initiative), John Matthews (AGWA), Kathryn Pharr (WaterAid), Phillipa Stanley (Arup), Lee Pitcher (Living with Water).
Unlocking City Resilience through Ports
Jointly hosted by The Resilience Shift and Arup, this presentation and panel session explored future trends to look at resilience challenges and opportunities for cities and how they can be realised through action in ports, taking a whole systems approach.
The session introduced the port systems and how they are connected, thinking about the drivers for change, and triggering a discussion about future opportunities to enhance resilience.
Hosted by: The Resilience Shift/Arup
Presenters: Dr Juliet Mian (The Resilience Shift), Mark Button (The Resilience Shift), Katharine Palmer (Climate Champions), David Green (Hitachi), Alistair Gale (Port of London Authority).
Building Climate Resilience with Infrastructure Pathways
With climate resilience front of mind, Infrastructure Pathways is a new initiative by ICSI, led by The Resilience Shift and in partnership with Arup. The initiative brings together stakeholders from across the infrastructure lifecycle to map existing guidance and provide line of sight for practitioners to embed climate resilience within infrastructure.
This session discussed and shared the work to date. We gave an overview of the framework and looked through some chapter examples, explaining how to use the resource and inviting feedback from participants.
Hosted by: ICSI/The Resilience Shift
Presenters: Savina Carluccio (ICSI), Rebecca Laberenne (The Resilience Shift/The World Bank), James Bodnar-Horvath (The Resilience Shift/Arup).
Developing a Database of Innovative Infrastructure Projects & Identifying Future Trends for Civil Engineering
ICSI has established a Champion Search group to develop a database of innovative infrastructure projects in order to identify and highlight exemplary initiatives. Additionally, we have been exploring key future trends that will shape the civil engineering profession and identifying the ways that practitioners need to adapt to address climate-related challenges at a systems level.
In this collaborative masterclass, we highlighted our methodology for developing this database and demonstrated the benefits of this project for encouraging future innovation. We also showed our approach to identifying key future trends and demonstrated how these trends are relevant at an organisational and systems level.
Hosted by: ICSI
Presenters: Jerry Buckwalter (ASCE), Andrew O’Connell (ASCE Foundation)
Green Recovery and Finance for Sustainable Infrastructure
ICSI has published a whitepaper that addresses how public and private sector stakeholders can support the funding necessary to spur a green recovery by sufficiently funding the early stages of infrastructure project development (pre-development) to achieve sustainable outcomes.
This session convened an expert panel to discuss the findings of the whitepaper. It looked at the opportunities for a green recovery and financing of sustainable infrastructure, with a particular focus on pre-development investment and how this relates to cities.
Hosted by: ICSI
Presenters: Savina Carluccio (ICSI), Andy Deacon (GCoM), Alfredo Redondo (CUT).
Decarbonisation and the Role of Technology: how technology can help achieve carbon net-zero
Resilience First, in partnership with Intel, have published a whitepaper on ‘Decarbonisation and the role of technology’. The whitepaper outlines how technology and innovation can be harnessed to cut greenhouse-gas emissions and accelerate the path to net-zero by 2050.
This session brings together experts from a range of sectors to discuss the role of technology and decarbonization, based on the key findings and recommendations of the whitepaper.
Hosted by: Resilience First
Presenters: Robert Hall (Resilience First), Andy Walker (Johnson Matthey), Caroline Field (Arup), Nayaz Mohammed (PwC).
City and Business Leaders Roundtable Discussion
Resilience First in partnership with UN-Habitat and GCoM convened city leaders and business leaders to discuss actions, solutions and frameworks required to advance the building of resilient cities and their communities.
Learnings from our approach to handling the pandemic across cities should be reflected on and considered as we prepare our cities to adapt to the growing threats of climate change.
This session assembles international city leaders with a cross-sector of business leaders to share and learn from each other as well as unlock a cross-fertilisation of innovations for the betterment or futureproofing of our cities and their communities.
Hosted by: Resilience First, UN-Habitat, GCoM
Presenters: Seth Schultz (The Resilience Shift), Jean Devlin (Control Risk), Jeremy M Goldberg (Microsoft), Peter Hall (Wood plc), Andy Deacon (GCoM).