December 18, 2018
On December 18, the Veolia Institute organized a conference-debate on "Resilient Cities" to mark the publication of its review dedicated to the same theme. Jean-Christophe Levassor, Director of La condition publique, Guillaume Josse, urban planner of Groupe Huit and Wexity, Eric Lesueur, President of 2EI Veolia and David Ménascé, Director of Azao and Professor at HEC, explored the main risks facing cities today and how they are preparing to face them.
While 70% of the world's population will live in cities in 2050, cities today face unprecedented challenges and risks: climate change, natural disasters, health crises, loss of attractiveness, industrial decline, urban poverty, unemployment, slums, etc. In this context, the concept of resilient cities, i.e. the "capacity of cities to recover from trauma and pursue their development", is emerging as a central issue in urban policies.
Nicolas Renard, Director of Foresight at the Veolia Institute, introduced the conference by recalling that population density and human exchanges increase the vulnerability of cities. Urban areas thus concentrate unpredictable shocks, natural or technological disasters and chronic stresses that weaken the social and economic fabric.
Three speakers presented their contribution, in different contexts, to improving the resilience of cities. As David Ménascé pointed out, "urban resilience" is based on four components: a strategic framework for action, a clearly defined reparation process, a viable economic model to finance solutions and a people's state of mind to support initiatives.