Grounding urban resilience through transdisciplinary risk mapping

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Urban Transformations Volume 2, Article Number: 1 (2020)

By América Bendito


During 2015, three key global agreements were established which converged on enhancing resilience as an overall strategy towards sustainable development. This paper builds an argument and a structured process for future research and practice that succinctly links urban resilience enhancement with the transdisciplinary development of risk maps. Risk maps are highlighted as useful tools improving a shared understanding of risk, raising awareness, and effectively guiding land use planning and zoning towards enhanced urban resilience. Building codes incorporating past and recent disaster experiences, and multi-hazard maps with high quality data for different performance levels, should be the foundation of transdisciplinary risk mapping.

Policy and practice recommendations

  • Develop a long-term vision for better guidance of innovative actions in response to global challenges

  • Make more substantial investments in prevention efforts supported by robust risk reduction strategies

  • Encourage transdisciplinary development of risk maps to enhance the effectiveness of risk reduction strategies

  • Ensure more frequent updating of building codes underpinning risk maps

Science highlights

  • Enhancing urban resilience is a central strategy to face multiple global sustainability challenges

  • Risk reduction related to natural hazards and climate impacts is a priority for enhancing resilience

  • Risk maps integrating building codes support consistent agency towards enhancing resilience

  • Transdisciplinary development of risk maps generates effective communication of resilience-enhancing actions