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Spatialising Challenges and Opportunities

Shocks and stresses are certainly among the main elements that can hamper progress towards more sustainable development. Therefore, identifying how they can affect the different areas in a city is crucial so to ensuring they are taken into account in measures implemented in each region to guarantee long-term positive impact.

This is a “City WORKS for Resilience tool” based on the “Localising Issues in the City Map” tool.


Localising the main risks your city faces with regard to sustainable urban development.


Step 1: Using the map resulting from the Localising Issues in the City Map exercise*, identify different shocks and stresses possibly associated with each issue you have identified (for cases in which the issues are not themselves shocks or stresses).

Step 2: Discuss in small groups which shocks and stresses are primary and what are secondary (e.g. if flooding events – primary – lead to pandemics – secondary).

Step 3: For the main risk drivers, map in greater detail the area of direct and indirect impact.

Step 4: Confirm if any new SDGs or other relevant global goals from the original exercise are related to the new elements added to the map, and highlight the SDGs associated with the risk drivers.

For a more detailed and quantitative assessment of vulnerabilities and capacities within your city, you can refer to the Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment tool from the Red Cross (see reference below).


Map of the city in proper resolution and size, dots, post-its and markers (from original exercise).


It is important that the participants are familiar with the concepts of “shocks” and “stresses” (see “Rapid Assessment of Long-Term Vision” tool under Raise Awareness), as well as direct and indirect impacts (see references below).

*Alternatively, participants can start a new map by identifying different shocks and stresses in the different areas of the city. Another possibility is for participants to draw their own city map from scratch, which is a useful exercise to reflect on how each person sees their own city/neighbourhood.


1 – 2 hours


City map with risk areas mapped and main risk drivers identified.