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Edited on

12 January 2018
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URBACT ’S core aim is to promote integrated and sustainable urban development. Integrated and sustainable urban development is related to resilient urban development.

The word resilient has become a bit of a buzz word recently. What does it mean? Urban policy works to make cities more resilient to environmental, social, and economic shocks and stresses when it strengthens their capacity to absorb these shocks. The object is not to return to the status quo (‘bounce back’) but to learn from previous shocks so as to fortify capacity to deal with future shocks (‘bounce forward’).   

As Irish local authorities brace themselves for the winter environmental shocks – in particular flooding – are once again emerging as a central concern. Floods are a natural and inevitable part of life in Ireland, but with climate change their frequency and intensity is likely to increase.  Floods are usually caused by a combination of events including storms, overflowing river banks, coastal storms or blocked or overloaded drainage ditches. They only present a risk however when people, property, the environment and our cultural heritage can be potentially damaged. Through the right measures we can reduce their likelihood and limit their impacts.

The Office of Public Works (OPW) is co-ordinating Ireland’s whole of Government approach to flood risk management. It is attempting to build more resilient Irish cities through a) prevention (e.g. avoiding construction in flood-prone areas), protection (e.g. taking feasible measures, both structural and non-structural, to reduce the likelihood and impact of floods) and preparedness (e.g. informing the public about dealing with flood risk and a flood).

See for further information about the OPW and Flood Risk Management activities in Ireland.

More generally, the Rockefeller Foundation 100 Resilient Cities initiative brings together cities which wish to strengthen their capacity to absorb a future shock and to bounce forwards towards a more resilient future. This initiative has no Irish partner. But every Irish city can learn from its insights.

More information on the Rockefeller Foundation 100 Resilient Cities project at:

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