In 1950 we had 746 million people living in cities. By 2014 this reached 3.9 billion. We expect by 2050 6.4 billion people in cities. China, India, Nigeria. These are places where we see big cities coming up. People come for economic opportunity, they don’t really think about the risks they face. The more you see climate change, the more you see extreme events become more frequent and more severe, you have more population and economic value at risk. Most cities have outgrown their original locations, so people are living in areas that are more exposed to some kinds of natural hazards. My AXA Research Project is about metrics and measurement for urban resilience. One of the key findings is that in the developing world you have very little basic data. To know exactly who you have in those areas and what they are vulnerable to, you can then start looking at then what infrastructure do we need? The data seems the first place to start. (DATA IS KEY TO UNDERSTANDING RISK IN GROWING CITIES) In a developed city the governement had more access to data, it has more policy levers it can pull, it has the private sector which functions pretty well. In a developing city, you don’t necessarily have that. It’s the role of government I think to create the right environment so that business and people take the right decisions. (AWARENESS IS KEY TO MAKING THE RIGHT DECISIONS) Awareness is a key issue. If people know the kind of risks then we’re better able to to change our behaviour on a daily basis. Do you think there’s such a thing as over-population in cities? There’s a perceived over-population. If you don’t invest adequately in infrastructure and services, people then feel that as an over-population.
(INVEST IN HEALTH, INVEST IN LEISURE, INVEST IN PROTECTION) I agree. I think that if we plan for people to come to cities, and we have the the services that are there, then it’s possible to make a resilient, liveable city. then it’s possible to make a resilient, liveable city.
(UNDERSTANDING RISK) (PLANNING FOR GROWTH) (BUILDING RESILIENT CITIES)