Tomorrow's Cities

man and woman wearing asian nepali clothes Nairobi will become an international hub for research and innovation in risk reduction

GNDR is one of the partners in a new five-year research and innovation project that aims to reduce disaster risk for the poorest people living in four major cities in Nepal, Ecuador, Kenya and Turkey.

Each target city - Kathmandu, Quito, Nairobi and Istanbul - will become a ‘hub’ for leading scientists, researchers, civil society organisations and governments to come together to dramatically enhance sustainable urban development.

Collectively they will assess current and future local urban risk, and take actions to reduce exposure to threats, and lessen the vulnerability of residents.

As a part of the project's Impact Committee, GNDR will work to ensure that research and local action plans in each municipality have a tangible impact for individuals on-the-ground. We will connect leading scientists with our members in order to bring grassroots knowledge and experience to the unique challenges in each location.

Urbanisation: from threat to opportunity

More than two billion people living in cities in low-to-middle income countries are exposed to floods, earthquakes, landslides, volcanoes and cyclones. By 2050 that number is expected to double.

Urban areas are expanding rapidly. Globally 60% of the area expected to be urban by 2030 is yet to be built. But rapid urbanisation is not just a threat - it also provides a time-limited opportunity to plan disaster risk out of tomorrow’s cities.

The Tomorrow’s Cities project aims to transition thinking from crisis management to risk-informed planning and decision-making in cities in developing countries. The involvement of GNDR will strengthen the voice and capacity of the urban poor to play a role in reducing their risk.

Sustainable cities for the future

Each city hub will address disaster risk by bringing about three types of change in each country:

  • Changes to the physical look of the city
  • A reduction in the risk people face
  • Changes in governance systems

In November 2019 GNDR will deliver collaboration workshops in each hub: these sessions will facilitate local and international stakeholders to establish ways of working together and build joint accountability. 

GNDR Member The National Society for Earthquake Technology (NSET) is a lead civil society partner for the Kathmandu hub.

In Nairobi, we will assess local risk by collecting community perspectives of threats, the consequences of those threats, actions, and barriers to change.

We'll also provide our new Views from the Frontline data, enabling hubs to incorporate community knowledge into their proposed solutions. 

As the project develops, we hope that GNDR members will be able to access funding to deliver the local risk reduction initiatives that are identified. These solutions will also inform our global advocacy work in future.

Five of the UN Sustainable Development Goals are supported by this project:

  • Goal 1: No Poverty
  • Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • Goal 13: Climate Action
  • Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals

Led by the University of Edinburgh, the project is funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) through the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). UKRI is the national funding agency investing in science and research in the UK, sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

Photo Credit: "DSC04062"by Ninara31 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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