ClearWorld November 2017 - Page 6

In the Age

of Resilience


What news outlets called the “perfect storm” was in fact the perfect demonstration of the need for resilience: the capacity to adapt and thrive in the face of short-term shocks and long-term stresses.

In the 21st century, cities around the world are increasingly susceptible to physical, social and economic challenges at a scale and frequency never before seen. Increasing urbanization in our cities, more frequent and severe climate related events, and easier access for goods, resources, and mobility have created an uncertain future. In order to thrive, cities must confront these challenges head-on through innovative and strategic planning that considers multi-purpose solutions.

When Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the Gulf Coast of the United States, it breached more than 50 levees and floodwalls, leaving nearly 80 percent of New Orleans underwater and killing nearly 2,000 people. Before this moment, the city of New Orleans, like many other great cities around the world, was aware of the risk of hurricanes and other threats. Yet, Katrina shook us to our core—bringing to light the failing infrastructure, the broken communication systems, and the lack of adequate protocols for disaster response in New Orleans and across the United States.