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The transformation of Medellín provides a model for cities worldwide

The Comuna 13 shantytown, one of the poorest areas of Medellín in Colombia. Photograph: Raul Arboleda/AFP/Getty Images

The Comuna 13 shantytown, one of the poorest areas of Medellín in Colombia. Photograph: Raul Arboleda/AFP/Getty Images

Resilience is more than just disaster response – it equips cities to deal with a range of challenges before they happen, saving cities potentially billions of dollars. For example, a recent study shows that making all the necessary repairs to New York City’s power grid after it is damaged by natural disasters could add up to $3bn over the next 20 years. The study also calculated that the same investment in protective measures, including smart-grid technology, could reduce the damage by $2bn – while contributing to economic gains of about $4bn…

 

Let artists shape a resilient city

People pose for pictures with Wayne Garrett and Caitlind Brown of Canada's light installation "CLOUD" during a media preview of the i Light Marina Bay festival in Singapore March 6, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS - See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/opinion/more-opinion-stories/story/let-artists-shape-resilient-city-20140410#sthash.jitWUzC3.dpuf

People pose for pictures with Wayne Garrett and Caitlind Brown of Canada’s light installation “CLOUD” during a media preview of the i Light Marina Bay festival in Singapore March 6, 2014. — FILE PHOTO: REUTERS – See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/opinion/more-opinion-stories/story/let-artists-shape-resilient-city-20140410#sthash.jitWUzC3.dpuf

LAST month, I was invited to give a keynote address on art and sustainability at the i Light Symposium held at the URA Centre in Maxwell Road. The aim of the conference was to bring together leading thinkers in the area of light and art, interrogating art’s power to improve society. I had diverse conversations with artists, architects, social scientists and others, on unsustainable development. I visited neighbourhoods ranging from Marina Bay to Bukit Brown. These first impressions raised my awareness of the specific challenges of urban resilience for Singapore. In particular, impending climate change raises the question of Singapore’s “resilience” to serious future crises…

 

Tropical Cyclon Ita off-shore near Cape Flattery, Queensland, Australia Photo: NASA/EPA

Tropical Cyclon Ita off-shore near Cape Flattery, Queensland, Australia Photo: NASA/EPA

Resilient way to achieve a much better work-life balance

I HEAR the phrase ‘spinning plates’ a lot from working mums, who are trying to be everything to everyone and feeling wrung out from juggling a work-life balance that is far from balanced. If this is you, then rest assured you are not alone and help is at hand. Meet Helen Turier RGN MAR and author of Bounce-back Ability: Developing Resilience on the Rollercoaster of Life, creator of The BOUNCE Model of Resilience, owner of a highly-successful holistic therapy business based in West Chiltington and award-winning speaker and trainer on resilience and wellbeing…

 

Housing projects in developing world expose low-income workers to natural disasters, disease

Satellite city projects across the developing world are putting an increasing number of poor people at risk to natural hazards and climate change, according to a new study from the University of Colorado Denver. Throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America `new towns’ are rapidly being built on the outskirts of major cities with the goal of relieving population pressures, according to study author Andrew Rumbach, PhD, assistant professor of planning and design at CU Denver’s College of Architecture and Planning…

 

The three most resilient cities? They’re all in Canada

00For perhaps the first time, someone has tried to qualify the resilience of cities. Grosvenor, the London-based property company led by the Duke of Westminster, analysed more than 100 independently verified data sets in order to determine two key elements of what makes a city resilient: its “vulnerability” on the one hand, and its “adaptive capacity” on the other. Vulnerability was measured by looking at climate threats, environmental degradation (including pollution and overconsumption due to sprawl), resources (particularly access to energy), infrastructure and community cohesion. Weakness in any of those areas reduced a city’s score…

 

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