Building Cities’ Resilience Thru Knowledge Sharing

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Enhancing the resilience in cities is crucial due to two significant trends – the rise in natural disasters and extreme events due to climate change and rapid urbanisation.

Climate scientists have a high consensus that climate change is here and its impacts are escalating.

As people are shifting from rural to urban areas, cities face an enormous potential for losses and impacts because of the concentration of people, infrastructure, structures, and resources.   

For example, in New Zealand, 86.7% of its total population lives in urban areas and cities. Globally over 50% of the people today live in urban areas, and by 2045 the number will increase by 1.5 times to 6 billion, according to The World Bank.

As urbanisation and natural disaster trends continue, raising and enhancing disaster resilience is becoming the priority of governments to safeguard their cities and citizens.

Cities can enhance resilience through intercity collaboration and knowledge-sharing, but clear guidance on how to do this is presently missing.

A study by Elrasheid Elkhidir, Sandeeka Mannakkara, Theunis F.P. Henning, and Suzanne Wilkinson, “Knowledge types and knowledge transfer mechanisms for effective resilience knowledge-sharing between cities – A case study of New Zealand”, published in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction in 2022, aims to investigate the knowledge types and knowledge-transfer mechanisms best-suited for effective resilience between cities in New Zealand to improve collaboration and create better resilience outcomes using a case study.

According to the authors, benefits expected from intercity collaboration and knowledge sharing have led to the creation of many international resilience-collaboration networks such as “Making Cities Resilient” (MCR), launched in 2010 by the UNDRR and the 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) that the Rockefeller Foundation launched in 2013.

Cities differ in their view and assessment of resilience

The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030, however, suggests that collaboration and knowledge sharing as the key to improving resilience, while UN-Habitat (2003) notes that local governments could benefit from information exchange and sharing in technical expertise, policy development and implementation, institutional strengthening, human resources development, and using external support (Elkhidir, Mannakkara, Henning, et al., 2022).

“The findings identified that effective knowledge-sharing for resilience between cities requires a balance of both implicit (in the form of an experiencing network or a materialising network: training, workshops, webinars, and face to face meetings) and explicit knowledge types (document sharing, data repositories, online portal, academic libraries, and Blog/Q&A) and needs to facilitate different knowledge-sharing formats due to the complex nature in how resilience knowledge is acquired. Organising formal knowledge-sharing requires selecting a network type, and New Zealand opted for a thematic model” (Elkhidir, Mannakkara, Henning, et al., 2022).

Read the entire study by clicking on the link provided in the “Source” section below.

Source Citation:

Elkhidir, E., Mannakkara, S., Henning, T. F. P., & Wilkinson, S. (2022). Knowledge types and knowledge transfer mechanisms for effective resilience knowledge-sharing between cities – A case study of New Zealand. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 70, 102790. DOI:  

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