We Will Have to Make Our Future Cities Both “Resilient” and “Sustainable”

Now-a-days ,there are two buzzwords-Resillience and Sustainable.David Bello, Associate Editor over at Scientific American, has an interesting post here looking at the supposed tensions between “resilience” and “sustainability”. His argument shows that precisely the characteristics that make many urban systems resilient can also make them deeply unsustainable from an environmental point of view.

He’s right,in my opinion. But we have to make it possible,if we have to sustain our civilisation which is becoming predominantly urban.

As Bello points out , though resilience and sustainability—two of the hottest buzzwords in urban planning—are practically used interchangeably, they are in fact in some tension with each other.

A resilient system bounces back from challenges, unharmed, and a big part of building in resilience includes building in ways to fail safely.Sustainability, on the other hand, means efficiency, at least in part, as designers strive to strike a balance between human needs and environmental impacts.

According to World Urbanization Report,around 5 billion people will inhabit urban areas by 2030. These future cities  will have to cope with climate change, sea level rise, increasing demand for electricity and the burden 5 billion peoples’ sewage, to name a few.

Accordind to World Urbanization Report, the twentieth century witnessed the rapid urbanization of the world’s population. The global proportion of urban population increased from a mere 13 per cent in 1900 to 29 per cent in 1950 and, according to the 2005 Revision of World Urbanization Prospects, reached 49 per cent in 2005. Since the world is projected to continue to urbanize, 60 per cent of the global population is expected to live in cities by 2030. The rising numbers of urban dwellers give the best indication of the scale of these unprecedented trends: the urban population increased from 220 million in 1900 to 732 million in 1950, and is estimated to have reached 3.2 billion in 2005, thus more than quadrupling since 1950. According to the latest United Nations population projections, 4.9 billion people are expected to be urban dwellers in 2030.

Great Cities have always been resilient.

We have to take more holistic approach to Resilience and have to make our settlement systems sustainable if we have to sustain .

We will have to synergies between built and natural systems not simply because green is trendy, but because it yields better results. As natural storm water systems address multiple forms of resilience simultaneously: they protect sewage systems from flooding, and  also reduce the urban heat island effect and increase resilience of the system.

Links , Sources and Inspirations:


Scientific American



Global Ranking of Top 10 Resilient Cities

About Rashid Faridi

I am Rashid Aziz Faridi ,Writer, Teacher and a Voracious Reader.
This entry was posted in Cities, Settlements, Urban Studies and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to We Will Have to Make Our Future Cities Both “Resilient” and “Sustainable”

  1. Pingback: We Will Have to Make Our Future Cities Both “Resilient” and “Sustainable” | DDRRNT

  2. Pingback: Four Pillars of City Sustainability | Rashid's Blog

  3. Pingback: Dimensions of Smart City | Rashid's Blog: An Educational Portal

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