Building Urban Resilience in East Asia: Principles, Tools, and Practice


Building Urban Resilience in East Asia is a World Bank program that aims to increase the resilience of cities to disasters and the impacts of climate change by using a risk-based approach to making public investment decisions. The objective is to demonstrate a scalable methodology and practical tools for risk assessment that can be used for city-level investment decisions.

Working closely with the stakeholders involved in land use planning and infrastructure development, Phase I of this program identified the major challenges facing urban decision makers in terms of risks from natural disasters and climate change and now offers open-source risk assessment tools that can be used by city-level institutions, other communities, private investors, and planners of infrastructure services. Phase II explores different investment options, management plans, and capacity building needs.

Building Urban Resilience in East Asia is part of a World Bank effort to encourage governments to use risk information effectively. The Open Data for Resilience Initiative (OpenDRI) is intended to reduce the impact of disasters by empowering decision makers with better information and the tools to support their responsibilities. InaSAFE (the Indonesia Scenario Assessment for Emergencies) is one of those tools, developed through a partnership with the Indonesian National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), the Australia-Indonesia Facility for Disaster Reduction (AIFDR), and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) Labs team.

Open Data for Resilience Cycle

Open Data for Resilience Cycle

This handbook is a resource for enhancing disaster resilience in urban areas. It summarizes the guiding principles, tools, and practices in key economic sectors that can facilitate incorporation of resilience concepts into the decisions about infrastructure investments and general urban management that are integral to reducing disaster and climate risks.

Resilience is the ability of a system, community, or society exposed to hazards to resist, absorb, accommodate to, and recover from the effects of a hazard in a timely and efficient manner (UNISDR 2011).

In the context of cities, resilience translates into a new paradigm for urbanization and influences the way we understand and manage urban hazards, as well as urban planning in general. It provides practical rules of thumb that can guide stakeholders’ decisions to incorporate the management of disasters and climate risks into urban investments. In practice, operationalizing resilience is challenging (Upton and Ibrahim 2012). To facilitate this process, this handbook provides guidance on how to build urban resilience into critical infrastructure and the social realm by taking advantage of available methodologies, tools, and resources.