With an estimated three million people moving to cities each week worldwide, the need to build resilience within urban spaces has never been more important. With this in mind, BSI – the business improvement company – has published a new British Standard. Developed with the support of the World Bank, UNISDR, UN Habitat, the OECD and representatives from UK cities, it’s aimed at preserving the health and well-being of cities in the face of rapid urban expansion, climate change and disruptive events such as pandemics.
BS 67000 City Resilience provides practical guidance and tools highlighting how to organise, prioritise, plan and deliver increased city resilience through a process of continual improvement. In some way, all parts of this new British Standard have been applied in cities somewhere in the world and are captured within a framework that provides a path to future city resilience evolution.
That framework supports consistency in the language used within and between organisations, a reliable process to steer users through activities and interactions, a truly interoperable system such that resilient approaches can be developed incrementally, taking city scale and bespoke needs into account, the ability to share Best Practice and approaches to common issues, more agile planning, systems resilience and performance measures and a set of guidance documents that fit together to make the picture progressively coherent.
Anne Hayes, director of sectors at the BSI, said: “The potential cost and risk around not building resilience into our cities is concerning. As the impact following shocks, disasters or even social tension and disruption could devastate a city, its ability to recover will not be through luck and hope but rather by proper continuity preparation and its agility to respond. This British Standard supports those responsible to advise and guide them through the various scenarios from preparation to aftermath with a view towards tackling future challenges and exploiting opportunities.”
Greater Manchester was one of the representative cities involved in the development of the new standard. Beverley Hughes, Deputy Mayor for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire in Greater Manchester, said: “Resilience has been a constant throughout Greater Manchester’s history. Looking to the future, it remains critical as we continue to face risks associated with climate change, including flooding and rising temperatures, the increasing inter-connectivity of our world, such as supply chain failures, and other unexpected changes, shocks, and disruptions.”
Hughes continued: “Greater Manchester has long recognised the importance of resilience to our economic, institutional and community well-being and has been perfectly placed to work alongside others with the BSI in authoring and establishing this new resilience standard. This vital guidance will help cities across the UK to rigorously plan for the unexpected and ensure the continuing safety and security of their people and assets.”
BS 67000 City Resilience has been produced in consultation with over 200 senior city stakeholders from across the UK and draws on Best Practice from across the globe. BS 67000, in fact, is intended for use by all stakeholders who contribute towards city resilience. City resilience stakeholders include local Government authorities, city leaders and planners, public, private, voluntary and higher education body senior executives with a resilience remit and professionals in authorities such as regeneration, planning, safety and security, climate and sustainability, transport and civil contingencies.
*Further information about BS 67000 City Resilience is available online at: https://shop.bsigroup.com/ProductDetail/?pid=000000000030368149