Resilient Cities 2015

Resilient Cities Program Monday, 8 June

10:00 - 12:30 Opening Plenary

Welcome, Keynotes and Congress Highlights (read more)

Session Description

Chair: David Cadman, President 2006-2015, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability

Welcome and opening

  • Jürgen Nimptsch, Mayor, City of Bonn; Co-Chair, World Mayors Council on Climate Change; ICLEI's Special Messenger to UNFCCC and carbonn Registry
  • Datuk Seri Ir. Hj. Idris bin Hj. Haron, Chief Minister, Melaka State Government, Malaysia
  • Gino Van Begin, Secretary General, ICLEI

Panel:  Key outcomes and developments in urban resilience 2014-2015

Facilitator: Yunus Arikan, Head of Global Policy and Advocacy, ICLEI

  • Jerry Velasquez, Chief, Advocacy and Outreach, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR)
    Introduction to the 7 Global Targets
  • Maryke van Staden, Low Carbon Cities Program Manager and Director of the carbonn Center, ICLEI World Secretariat
    Climate actions reported in cCR
  •  Anne Odic, Head of the Local Authorities and Urban Development Division (CLD), Agence Française de Développement (AFD), Paris, France
  • Mercedes Mathebula, Sustainability Specialist, City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality, South Africa
  • "The broader resilience agendapresented by Monika Zimmermann, Deputy Secretary General, ICLEI


Local and regional government actions

13:30 - 14:30 Poster Session


Session Description


Special young researchers' poster exhibition

14:30 - 16:00 Parallel Theme Sessions A

A1 PANEL: Standardized Indicators for Resilient Cities – ISO 37120 and the World Council on City Data

Session Description

Facilitator: Matthew Lynch, Vice President – Global Partnerships & Initiatives, World Council on City Data, Toronto, Canada


  • Nico Tillie, Vice-President World Council on City Data, Toronto, Canada;  Researcher / Lecturer, Delft University of Technology; Landscape Architect, City of Rotterdam, the Netherlands 
  • Jerry Velasquez, Chief - Advocacy and Outreach Section, UNISDR, Geneva, Switzerland
  • Joseph Wladkowski, Head of ICLEI Capacity Center, Bonn, Germany


This session discussed the importance of standardized global city indicators, highlighted the benefits of the new ISO 37120 standard on sustainable cities and introduced the new ISO 37121 on city resiliency.

Organized in cooperation with the World Council on City Data (WCCD)

A2 PRESENTATION: Participatory Governance and Multi-stakeholder Approaches for Resilience Building

Session Description

Facilitator: Sean O'Donoghue, Manager Climate Protection Branch, eThekwini Municipality/Durban, South Africa


  • Jan Rasmussen, Project Director, City of Copenhagen, Denmark
    A Climate Quarter in Copenhagen: Local Participation and Action

  • Saleemul Huq, Director, International Centre for Climate Change & Development (ICCCAD); Senior Fellow, International Institute for Environment & Development (IIED), London, UK
    Driving urban adaptation from the ground up in Least Developed Countries (LDCs)

  • Sandra Garavito, Chief of Party, Low Carbon Resilient Development Program (LCRD), Bogota, Colombia;and
    Oscar Iván Galvis Mora, Urban Risk and Adaptation Expert, Low Carbon Resilient Development Program (LCRD), Bogotá, Colombia
    Low Carbon Resilient Development: Integrating Resilience into Urban Development

  • Zainal bin Hussin, Mayor, City of Melaka, Malaysia
    Multi-stakeholder approachs to resilience in the City of Melaka 

A3 PANEL: Climate-Resilient Development: Building Infrastructure Resilience in Three Cities

Session Description

Facilitator: Christopher Evans, Deputy Program Manager of CRIS, ICF International, Ottawa, Canada


  • Rosario Chumacero Córdova, Manager for Territory and Transport, Provincial Municipality of Piura, Piura, Peru
  • Chakil Aboobacar, Advisory to the Mayor, Municipal Council of Nacala, Nacala-Porto, Mozambique
  • Evaydee Perez Sarraff, Climate Change Center Director, Dominican Institute of Integral Development, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Climate-Resilient Development Lessons from Building Urban Infrastructure Resilience in Three Cities (collective PPT presentation. Click to download)


This panel discussion attempted answering how developing-country cities can ensure that investments in infrastructure are resilient to a changing climate. Three cities in coastal & low-lying areas (Nacala Porto, Mozambique, Piura, Peru, and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) shared lessons learned on urban infrastructure resilience from the Climate Resilient Infrastructure Services (CRIS) program under USAID’s Climate Change Resilient Development (CCRD) project. Panelists discussed tools developed with CRIS to: Apply climate information, assess the vulnerability of infrastructure, and develop adaptation strategies.

Organized in cooperation with USAID/ ICF International

A4 WORKSHOP: Understanding Audiences: Communicating Climate Change Adaptation to communities

Session Description

Facilitator: Pam Vallance, Senior Research Manager Asia, BBC Media Action, London, UK 
Climate Asia: A New Way to Communicate


This workshop demonstrated how understanding communities' needs can inform project development, drawing on research from Climate Asia which identified five groups of people who varied in their ability to adapt according to how they perceived climate change impacts, how willing they were to change, and how they worked together with their community. During the workshop, several videos and other visual materials were used to demonstrate the findings from BBC's program.  

Organized in cooperation with BBC Media Action

A5 WORKSHOP: The Ripple Effect: Building Commitment to Urban Adaptation Planning

Session Description

Facilitators: Kara E. Reeve, Urban Management Specialist, RTI International, USA 
The Ripple Effect: Building Commitment to Urban Adaptation Planning



The workshop followed the “Knowledge Café” format. The facilitator provided an overview of key research themes, followed by a practical presentation hilighting the ways in which these themes have surfaced, created roadblocks, or have been overcome in the adaptation activities of Ekurhuleni, South Africa. After the introductory presentations, the facilitators posed a set of open-ended questions to the audience, which then broke into small groups. Each small group discussed the questions for a set period of time. Participants then re-convened and the facilitators lead the group through a final session, in which people reflected on the small group discussions.

16:15 - 18:15 Parallel Theme Sessions B

B1 PANEL: How to foster knowledge partnerships that serve cities and their communities

Session Description


  • Cynthia Rosenzweig, Senior Research Scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Head of the Climate Impacts Group, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies; Co-Director, Urban Climate Change Research Network, Columbia University, New York, USA
     How to foster knowledge partnerships that serve cities and their communities
  • Matthias Garschagen, Head, Vulnerability Assessment, Risk Management, and Adaptive Planning, UNU-EHS Bonn, Bonn, Germany



  • Somayya Ali Ibrahim, Program Manager, Urban Climate Change Research Network, Columbia University, New York, USA 
  • Josephine Lee, Program manager, ICMA CityLinks, Washington D.C., USA
  • Ayesha Dinshaw, Associate World Resources Institute (WRI), Washington DC, USA
  • Noloyiso Walingo, Environmental Health Manager, Ugu District Municipality, Durban, South Africa
  • Sean O'Donoghue, Manager Climate Protection Branch, eThekwini Municipality/Durban, South Africa
  • Kathryn Vines, Head of Adaptation Research, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, New York, USA


This session presented several examples of how local research institutions are working with local and urban governments to help address their growing technical needs. The session further explored recent models of initiatives that bridge the talent and expertise present in local research institutions and the knowledge needs of urban stakeholders. By way of example, several major efforts or initiatives were discussed among partners from the Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN), the Durban Adaptation Charter (DAC), CityLinks, the World Resources Institute, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, and the Ugu District Municipality in South Africa. 

Organized in cooperation with the Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN)

B2 REALITY CHECK WORKSHOP: Towards A Low Carbon, Resource Efficient and Climate Resilient City of Tshwane

Session Description

Facilitator: Maryke van Staden, Low Carbon Cities Program Manager and Director of the carbonn Center, ICLEI World Secretariat, Bonn, Germany 



  • Tarryn Quayle, Integrated Urban Water Management Professional Officer, ICLEI Africa, Cape Town, South Africa


The City of Tshwane shared its progress in achieving its long-term Vision 2055 towards a low carbon, resource efficient and climate resilient city. Participants had an in-depth look into how the City of Tshwane planned for a comprehensive, integrated adaptation plan; its steps in achieving green economy; and its innovative outreach program aimed at changing behavior of the population towards climate change impacts.

Organized with the City of Tshwane

Further resources

B3 PANEL: Towards the Implementation of the Sendai Framework and the New 10 Essentials for Making Cities Resilient

Session Description

Facilitator: Ebru A. Gencer, Executive Director, Center for Urban Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience (CUDRR+R), New York, USA; Vice-Chair, UNISDR Urban Planning Advisory Group (UPAG)


Floor Interventions:

  • Cassidy Johnson, Senior Lecturer, University College London, UK; Chair, UNISDR UPAG
  • Steve Gawler, Director International Programs, ICLEI Oceania


This session explored how the newly adopted Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and the New Ten Essentials for Making Cities Resilient can be implemented in urban areas, shared current experiences in integrating DRR into Urban Planning, including innovative examples as well as barriers and challenges to such practices.

Organized in cooperation with CUDRR+R and the City of Karlstad

B4 PANEL: How to mobilize planning tools to develop resilient cities?

Session Description

 Lorena Pasquini , Research Coordinator, African Climate and Development Initiative University of Cape Town, South Africa



This session presented experiences from three cities located in different vulnerable areas in integrating actions on adaptation to Climate Change into urban planning and multi-sectorial urban policies. It also discussed the utilization of analytical and financial instruments to elaborate climate change strategies at a city level. The discussion was aimed at cities newer to adaptation planning and interested in learning lessons from the ground from practitioners.

Organized in cooperation with Agence Française de Développement (AFD)

B5 PRESENTATIONS: Ecosystems-based approaches for adaptive cities and communities

Session Description

Facilitator: Robert Kehew, Leader, Climate Change Planning Unit, Urban Planning and Design Branch, UN-Habitat, Nairobi, Kenya



The session featured case studies from Colombia and Canada, as well as an overarching UNEP perspective on long-term city planning for low-cost ecosystem-based adaptation. A variety of examples was presented on how cities can utilize ecosystem services for climate adaptation planning including through the use of green infrastructure and preservation of biodiversity. The session demonstrated how local governments and communities can be better prepared, informed and supported in the implementation of ecosystems-based approaches.

Evening Events

Opening Reception hosted by the City of Bonn

Reception Venue and Time: Bonn Art Museum, from 19:30