Thematic Cities Cluster

Disaster Risk Reduction & Mitigation in Resilient Cities

The Cities Cluster on Disaster and Risk Reduction & Mitigation in Resilient Cities offers a space for knowledge sharing and collaboration between cities partners of the global South on how to create and implement measures to enhance disaster resilience at the local level. 

Disaster risk reduction is an important component for achieving sustainable development of cities, when the world is steadily becoming more urban. By 2050, over 60% of the world’s population will be living in urban areas, making urban resilience vital for accomplishing the Sustainable Development Goals and achieving other global frameworks (UNDRR, 2020a). Fast-growing cities and urban areas of the world, mostly located in the global South, increase disaster risk due to economic growth and fast population expansion. 

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For instance, 81% of the population in the Americas and the Caribbean lives in cities and, among the urban population, 25% lives in precarious and vulnerable settlements, subjects to social, political, and economic disparity and thus, vulnerable to disasters especially this pandemic (UNDRR, 2020b). 

The COVID-19 pandemic hit many cities hard but also served as a wake-up call for urban leaders to reconsider the way cities are organized, planned, governed and the way investments in cities should be evaluated. As such, the knowledge sharing between cities by reporting practices that have been already tested and implemented by one city and that can be successfully adapted by another is highly desired.  

In 2020, the Cities Project organized five capacity training webinars jointly with UNDRR, PAHO/WHO received participation from over 2400 participants from over 140 countries. In 2021, this training series held jointly with UNDRR and PAHO/WHO again attracted over 5,000 registrations from 165 countries and territories, and close to 3,000 participants from 155 countries and territories joined the sessions live.

As a follow-up to the results, Cities Project will continue organizing trainings and promoting collaborations among cities and institutions under this theme in partnership with specialized UN agencies and partners and facilitating new pilot projects to accelerate the transfer of knowledge, technology, and innovation among the Global South.

The Cities Project welcomes city partners interested in participating in this Cities Cluster on Disaster and risk reduction, mitigation in resilient cities and hopes the knowledge exchanged here leads to more South-South cooperation and a swift post-pandemic social and economic recovery. 

Featured Members of this Cluster

National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS-L)


The National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS-L) is the only public institution that both supports and conducts research; as such it is the central institution for science policy formulation and execution. Additionally, it is a funding agency supporting academic institutions in the country parallel to its role in capacity building. The 1962 law creating the CNRS-L gave it autonomy under the tutelage of the Prime Minister. On all relevant matters the CNRS thus reports to the Prime Minister and advises the government, which then decides. Furthermore, the 1962 law provides a clear, though rigid, basis for the formulation of science policy. However, over recent years the CNRS has been seeking ways and means of refocusing on its role and is actively looking for cooperation within the context of policies required to create a knowledge-based economy and society. The National Council for Scientific Research has been a member of the International Science Council since 1974.

National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS-L), Lebanon

Disaster Risk Management Unit


In 2010, UNDP and the Lebanese Government launched a project on “Strengthening Disaster Risk Management Capacities in Lebanon (DRM)”. The aim of the project has been to support the Lebanese Government in its efforts to reduce exposure and vulnerabilities, to reduce the risk of disasters. To ensure an efficient implementation of this project, the Disaster Risk Management Unit (DRM Unit) was established at the Presidency of the Council of Ministers headquarter in the Grand Serail of Beirut. The DRM Unit’s mission has been to help the Lebanese Government in developing and implementing its disaster risk reduction strategy including prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery at national, regional, local, and sectoral levels.

Disaster Risk Management Unit, Lebanon

Tripoli Municipality


Tripoli is the second established city of Lebanon and is situated 85 km north of Beirut. The municipality has 24 elected council members and is a member of the Union of Municipalities of AL Fayhaa, with the municipalities of Mina, Beddawi and Kalamoun. Known as the capital of the North, Tripoli is considered as the second-largest city in Lebanon and covers an area of 24.7km2.The urban area itself lies on a coastal plain not exceeding 10m above sea level. The main river in this region is “Abou Ali River”. It englobes many important assets like: Seaport (the second largest one in Lebanon); hospitals, schools, civil defense, and red cross centers. The approximate population number in this region (based on the municipality dataset) is around 350,000 individuals from the local community in addition to 50 000 Syrian refugees distributed in houses and some informal settlements. This region doesn’t include big industries, they are considered as a small business with less than 200 employees each.

Tripoli Municipality, Lebanon



Located on the west coast of Turkey by the Aegean Sea, Izmir belongs to the broader region of Southeast Europe, and is one of the major port cities in the Mediterranean. Izmir province stretches over an area of 12.000 km2 and comprises 30 districts, 11 of which are situated in the metropolitan area.

Thanks to its favorable geographical location, climate, water resources and fertile lands, the 8500-year-old city has been the home of many civilizations and cultures. Today, the city celebrates its unique culture, which stems from its heritages, cuisine and cosmopolitan lifestyle where the sea and the agriculture play an influential role. Izmir’s cultural vision is to evolve into a city of arts, design and innovation, ensuring biodiversity, and eco-friendly production and distribution models. Another aspect of this vision involves developing trans-border relations and making Izmir a node in major city networks by promoting interactions and diversity. The municipality aims at making İzmir more prosperous, democratic, inclusive, just, equal, safe and sustainable with its cultural policies.

Izmir, Turkey

Buenos Aires


Buenos Aires is Argentina’s largest city and is considered one of the most livable cities in the region. In recent years, the city has seen a deep transformation in terms of socio-urban integration and redesign on a human scale, with innovation, sustainability, and inclusion as guiding axes. For more than a decade, and mainly since the city formally adhered to the Sustainable Development Goals in 2016, Buenos Aires has been working under the guidance of the SDGs to build a more sustainable, safe, resilient and inclusive city that generates new and better opportunities for all.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Cities Alliance

Over the last two decades, the Cities Alliance has been working on climate change, resilience, and sustainable urban ecosystems that are at the heart of the recent urbanisation discussions - always with a special emphasis on communities in informal settings and equality for all.

Cities Alliance global work is designed to advance new tools, practices and understanding of emerging urban issues and support joint advocacy with our members; with our Global Programme Climate Change, Resilience and Informality in Cities, we work towards the goal of supporting communities - in partnership with local governments - to build resilient cities that reduce both risk and vulnerability by strengthening urban ecosystems, promoting investment in local resilience efforts, and advocating for people-centred resilience.

Cities Alliance, UNOPS

International Network on Small Hydro Power (INSHP)

The International Network on Small Hydro Power (INSHP) is a public and non-profit international organization with 438 members from 80 countries, which is initiated by United Nations Industrial and Development Organization (UNIDO), China’s Ministry of Water Resources and Ministry of Commerce. INSHP established six demonstration bases and one demonstration zone on Small Hydropower (SHP) in Hunan, Gansu, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Hubei provinces in China, and three Sub-centers in India, Nigeria and Columbia.

Since its establishment in 1994, INSHP has carried out various activities on SHP, aiming to promote the global SHP development and realize the UN SDGs 2030. In July 2016, UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-Moon visited INSHP and highlighted that INSHP is a good example of South-South Cooperation between China and the UN.

International Network on Small Hydro Power (INSHP)



The Metropolitan Regional Government of Santiago is an autonomous body that as of July 14 2021 will be led by a Governor or Regional Governor, who will be in charge of the superior administration of the region. The Regional Government cares about the harmonious and equitable development of the territory. The main focus of its work in on the planning and preparation of projects to promote the economic, social and cultural development of the Metropolitan Region, taking into account the preservation and improvement of the environment and the participation of the community.
“Santiago Humano y Resiliente” is the Resilient Strategy of the Metropolitan Regional Government, it was born from the selection of Santiago in 2014 within the framework of the program ``100 Resilient Cities (100RC)``, originally promoted by the Rockefeller Foundation and today led by the Global Resilient Cities Network (GRCN).
The Resilient Strategy proposes a collaborative perspective by articulating the public sector, private sector, academia, social organizations and unions to make Santiago a more just, humane and inclusive city, giving all its inhabitants the opportunity to live and enjoy the benefits of a region where people are at the center of development. It seeks to improve the capacity of the city to face the tensions and impacts that threaten it and implement actions that allow progress towards a more humane and resilient Santiago.

Santiago, Chile



Mersin, also known as the “Pearl of the Mediterranean” is a “Blue” and “Green” city with a very important commercial port on the Mediterranean coast of southern Turkey, situated on the western part of the famous plain of Çukurova, a geographical, economic, and cultural region.

Mersin offers a variety of tourism options, including culture, faith, congress, hiking, tracking, rafting, paragliding, and mountain climbing, in addition to its 320-kilometre-long seashore with its distinctive natural charms and sea, sand, and sun triad. Mersin's natural sandy coastline stretches for around 108 kilometres.

Mersin with 13 administrational districts and a population of 2.200.000 habitants is an important hub of Turkey's economy.

The coast of Mersin has been inhabited since the 9th millennium BCE The region has witnessed to the succession of many different civilizations such as the Hittites, Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, Seleucids, Lagids, Roman, Byzantine Seljuk and the Ottomans.

Mersin is an open-air museum, with numerous of ruin sites and still standing monuments especially with 9-thousand-year-old Yumuktepe and Gözlükule Tumulus.

Historically, Mersin was a major producer of cotton and cottonseed oil. The rural area around Mersin is famous for citrus and cotton production. Banana, olive, and various fruits are also produced.

The Mersin Port is the mainstay of Mersin’s economy. There are 21 piers, a total port area of 785,000 square meters (194 acres), with a capacity of 6,000 ships per year.

Mersin, Turkey



Mombasa is the oldest and the second largest city in Kenya covering a total area of 294.7 km2. It is a cosmopolitan trade,tourismand investment hub famous for its rich history, culture and cuisine. It is the smallest county in size with a population of around 1,208,333 people (according to the 2019 census)Mombasa isthe gateway into East and Central Africa through its two ports; Mombasa Old Port on the east and Kilindini Harbor on the west. The island is connected to the main land by bridges and ferriesand is also accessible through (Air) Moi international airport ,(Rail) Standard Gauge Railway andan extensive road network.One of Mombasa’s notable landmarks isFort Jesus. whichwas Built by the Portuguese in 1593-1596 as their military base to defend and protect the coveted port. The fort spans approximately 2.36 hectares and in 2011It was designated as aUNESCO World Heritage Site.

Mombassa, Kenya

Rio de Janeiro


The city of Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil, constituted by landscapes of exceptional scenic beauty, is the second-most populous city and economy in Brazil - with an estimated population of 6.718.903 (2019) and a gross domestic product of R$337,6 billion (2017). Contemplated by a large number of universities and institutes, it is also the second-largest research and development center in Brazil, responsible for 19% of the national scientific production, according to 2005 data. The Rio de Janeiro way of being and living is a hallmark of the city and is admired by people from all over the world. Founded in 1565, Rio de Janeiro was also the capital of Brazil from 1763 to 1960.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Shah Alam


Shah Alam is a city and the state capital of Selangor, Malaysia and situated within the Petaling District and a small portion of the neighbouring Klang District.

Shah Alam is also one of the major cities within the Klang Valley, an area in Malaysia comprising Kuala Lumpur and its suburbs, and adjoining cities and towns in the state of Selangor, due to the Klang River flowing through it on its way westward to the Strait of Malacca.

Shah Alam, Malaysia



Piquete is located in the state of São Paulo, in the Vale do Paraíba, the central portion of the middle valley of the Paraíba do Sul River. It is located on the slopes of Serra da Mantiqueira and a large part of its territory is within the Environmental Preservation Area. It has 14,709 inhabitants as of 2009.

Piquete, Brazil



Tandil is located in the southeast of the province of Buenos Aires, in Argentina. Its surface, of almost 5,000 square kilometers, houses a population of more than 140,000. The rhythm of the city goes hand in hand with the joint work between the public and private sectors, the latter characterized by the diversity of its economic activities, such as agriculture, livestock, tourism, metalworking and food industry, technology, and software development.

Tandil is also positioned as a special place to rest, with incomparable landscapes and walks, framed in the oldest mountain system in Argentina. This is perfectly complemented by an adequate infrastructure for temporary and permanent lodging, suitable for the practice of outdoor recreational activities and leisure, together with great cultural and sporting activity.

Tandil, Argentina



The Palestinian International Cooperation Agency (PICA), established by a presidential decree by President Mahmoud Abbas on January 2016, is the main public diplomacy tool of the State of Palestine and works as a national coordinator for South-South and North-South Cooperation.

PICA transfers Palestinian know-how to countries of the South, in the form of development and technical assistance. Its creation is guided by a national responsibility towards the international community and is an expression of gratitude and appreciation for the support given to the State of Palestine over the years.

Guided by a vision of solidarity through development, the State of Palestine seeks to mobilize its skilled human resources to provide technical assistance to support partner countries in responding to crisis and tackling development challenges with the aim of promoting South-South Cooperation and realizing the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

PICA, Palestine

National University of Science and Technology (NUST)


National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST) was established in March 1991 for the promotion of higher education in the country, especially in the fields of science and technology, by providing a stable and disciplined academic environment together with need-based research pertinent to industrial requirements. Over the years, it has expanded in scope, services, and stature, and has emerged as a leading comprehensive university in the public sector.

NUST has developed linkages with international universities of repute to ensure two-way flow of knowledge and be in step with modern trends. Split programmes and visits of eminent professors from reputed foreign universities are a regular feature of the academic activity.

National University of Science and Technology (NUST), Pakistan



Mumbwa District is situated about 140Km from Lusaka and has a population of approximately 176,620 of which 88,762 are females (50.3%) and 87,858 are males (49.7%). Its average annual Population Growth Rate stands at 3.2%, and the population distribution is 10.7 per square Kilometer. The district has a total land size of approximately 23, 800km2.

Mumbwa, Zambia

Gansu Provincial People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (GPAFFC)


Gansu Provincial People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (GPAFFC) is a not-for-profit civil group, whose work is guided by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC). GPAFFC aims to increase the mutual understanding and nurture friendship between people from around the world and promote exchanges and cooperation in economy, trade, society, culture, science and technology and education.

Gansu Provincial People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (GPAFFC), China

Disaster Risk Management Council, Universidad de Sta. Isabel


Universidad de Sta. Isabel is an audacious Christ-centered educational and health care institution committed to empowering communities of persons into leaders, compassionate healers, and advocates of persons in poverty situations. The university stands as a living symbol of the on-going commitment to serving and transforming the lives of countless people in varying situations and degrees of poverty.

Disaster Risk Management Council, Universidad de Sta. Isabel, Philippines

São Paulo


The São Paulo City Hall is the government office in charge of management and control of the city of São Paulo, Brazil. São Paulo is a municipality in the Southeast Region of Brazil. The metropolis is an alpha global city and the most populous city in Brazil and the largest Portuguese-speaking city in the world. The city is the capital of the state of São Paulo, the most populous and wealthiest state in Brazil. It exerts strong national and international influence in commerce, finance, arts and entertainment.

São Paulo, Brazil

Institute for Sociological, Political and Juridical Research of Ss. Cyril and Methodius University

North Macedonia

The Institute for Sociological, Political and Juridical Research of Ss. Cyril and Methodius University was established more than 50 years ago with the tasks:

-to scientifically study sociological and political-legal phenomena in the country to encourage and organize the study of issues from sociological and political-legal sciences to the development of society;
-to develop and improve research methods in social sciences;
-to work on the improvement of professional personnel and to prepare young social scientists;
-to organize various forms of work with professional staff, in order to train them for independent scientific work;
-to provide teaching of all degrees in social sciences for all faculties of the University;
-to organize presentations in the field of sociological and political-legal sciences through consultations, discussions and other suitable forms;
-to provide and immediately communicate the results of scientific research and issue publications;
-to develop versatile and necessary cooperation with relevant institutions, organizations and individuals dealing with the study of sociological and political-legal sciences in the country and abroad (from the Decision of the University Council of the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje).

Institute for Sociological, Political and Juridical Research of Ss. Cyril and Methodius University, North Macedonia

United for Smart Sustainable Cities (U4SSC) Initiative


The “United for Smart Sustainable Cities” (U4SSC) is a UN initiative coordinated by ITU, UNECE, and UN-Habitat, and supported by CBD, ECLAC, FAO, UNDP, UNECA, UNESCO, UNEP, UNEP-FI, UNFCCC, UNIDO, UNOP, UNU-EGOV, UN-Women and WMO to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 11: ``Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable``.

United for Smart Sustainable Cities (U4SSC), ITU

Afadzato South District


The Afadzato District is one of the 46 administrative districts created in 2012 with its capital at Ve-Golokuati, about 58km from Ho, 20km from Hohoe, and 200km from Accra. The total land area of the district is 553.0 square Kilometres about 3.06 % of the total land size of the Volta Region. Moreover, the location of the district has the potential to boost both local and foreign trade.

The Afadzato South District Assembly exists to improve both social and economic life of her people through efficient and effective resource mobilization, maintaining a strong agricultural base for further industrial development, being a leading tourist centre in Ghana and preserving cultural heritage of her people and the Region at large.

Afadzato South District, Ghana

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