Sendai Framework

The Sendai Framework was adopted at the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan in 2015. It aims at substantially reducing disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health and in the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities and countries. As cities are often particularly affected by climate change risks and other external shocks, they also need to be actively engaged and addressed when implementing disaster risk management and adaptation measures to increase resilience to stresses and shocks.

The original document of the Sendai Framework can be found here.

Resilience in the City WORKS Toolkit

With the aim of supporting cities in including aspects of resilience into their development and putting into practice the goals of the Sendai Framework, we have developed an extension of the City WORKS toolkit specifically focused on resilience. The resilience extension takes urban professionals from familiarising themselves with the concepts around resilience to analysing their cities under a “resilience” lens in order to ensure that the actions taken pave the way for a more resilient future. To strengthen the message that resilience cannot be dissociated from sustainable development, most tools were inserted as additions to already-existing City WORKS tools. You can find these additions in the steps “understand current situation”, “identify measures”, “prioritise measures” and “plan for action”. Additionally, two entirely new tools have been developed: “Linking Urban Action to Resilience” and “Bankability Assessment”.
The resilience tools can be identified by these icons:

Some Background on the Resilience Extension

In the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, cities have been fighting against a backdrop of multiple existing shocks and stresses, and emerging vulnerabilities, while striving to put equity, economy and climate action at the centre of their recovery approaches. Within this, the notion of urban resilience has gained more attention and provides an orientation for cities to prepare for the future.

As the field of resilience is a very complex, some terms are clarified here:

Resilience is the capacity of a city’s systems, businesses, institutions, communities, and individuals to survive, adapt, and grow, no matter what chronic stresses and acute shocks they experience. By strengthening its underlying fabric and deepening its understanding of the risks that threaten its stability, a city can improve its overall trajectory and the well-being of its citizens, prosper in the face of challenges both expected and as yet unimagined.

Recovery from shocks or stressing events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, flooding or migration crisis, can happen in different ways, ranging from “building back” the way things used to be before to taking the opportunity to “build back better” or even “build forward”. Green recovery, more specifically, seeks to combine an economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic with combating climate change. Just Recovery, on the other hand, seeks to overcome inequalities and promotes inclusive societies. Combining the two with the notion of resilience, a Resilient Recovery seeks transformational action fostering adaptive socioeconomic models and increased social, economic and environmental benefits.

Shock is a sudden onset event, leading, potentially, to adverse impacts unfolded within hours or days in the urban areas.

Stress is defined as a chronic pressures whose cumulative impacts undermine city’s capacity for resilience.

Note: Whilst “City WORKS for Resilience” includes references to all elements above, “City WORKS for Climate Action” allows for an even deeper dive into the “Climate-focused” dimension.

Further References

Toolkit for a Resilient Recovery – developed by R-Cities as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

PreventionWeb – Global knowledge sharing platform for disaster risk reduction and resilience

Urban Resilience Hub strengthening the capacities of local governments in cities to design, implement and monitor sustainable, resilient and inclusive COVID-19 economic and financial recovery plans.

Learning tools of UCLG (United Cities and Local Governments) – creation and dissemination of knowledge and resources for local and regional governments to achieve inclusive, resilient, and sustainable communities. Several facilitation guides (Learning Modules) for the localization of the SDGs and the Sendai Framework for DRR (Desaster Risk Reduction), built with a Training of Trainers approach, as well as self-paced e-learning modules: and