Cities that build resilience into their projects do five things

  1. Incorporate systems thinking into their decision-making, taking into account shocks and stresses, and maximizing co-benefits.
  2. Engage with diverse stakeholder communities in the planning process.
  3. Integrate projects within a broader city vision that includes vulnerable populations.
  4. Assess and build projects based on the long-term environmental, social and economic benefits they’ll bring, as well as their ability to withstand short-term disruptions.
  5. Recognize that their infrastructure needs to adapt to new and unforeseen challenges in the future.

An investment in resilience-based planning, projects, and practices will return cost-savings, cost-avoidance, and multiple benefits across city systems. Every dollar spent by a city is precious, and likely entails a trade-off for a dollar not spent on something else. Decision makers and investors need to be explicit about maximizing the co-benefits of their money, and should strive to deploy projects which will serve communities in both the good times and the bad.