Why does Urban Risk and Resiliency need risk science?
Cities continue to grow. At present, 585 cities have more than 1,000,000 inhabitants. At the time of this writing, 3.4 billion people worldwide are rural inhabitants, whereas 4.13 billion live in cities, and the curve is growing in favor of cities.
More people in cities means more systems. More systems means more points of failure. Granted, while urban risk can be seen as an umbrella for many other risk categories — health, safety and security, waste, water, and many more – it is this convergence that requires close monitoring, evaluation, and mitigation.
As cities grow, they are facing space limitations (e.g. Beijing), rising seas (e.g. Mumbai), water shortages (e.g. Las Vegas), and more severe weather (New Orleans). Disparity is also increasing as runaway wealth overpowers debilitating poverty.
Possibly the greatest concern is public health. Recent and future pandemics will test cities’ ability to prevent and care for their citizens. Waterborne and airborne pathogens need particular study and defense.
Not to be forgotten are the continuing risks posed by actions of terror and civil unrest.
Fortunately, there are solutions but more monitoring and evidence are necessary to sway policymakers and citizens – both – to act together to make cities – their cities – sustainable.
"Sometimes I am worried by the thought of the effect that life in the city will have on coming generations."
by John Burroughs, Naturalist
RSI and Urban Risk and Resiliency
RSI experts are keenly aware of urban risk. They know this, first because they all live and work in cities, but also because their work has exposed them to urban risks their entire careers. Drs. Krewski and Mattison, Paoli, the rest of the senior and staff experts have all worked on multiple projects that have shown them the fragile nature of the new urban reality.
An additional motivation lies in the nature of RSI’s client base. RSI staff have, over decades, worked with an overwhelming number of organizations in the urban space ranging from Transport Canada at the national level, to UN-Habitat at the international level, and multiple corporations whose living is reliant on all things urban.
In coming years, RSI is committed to further growing its presence in the urban space. In collaboration with multiple national and international actors, RSI is continuously developing new means of understanding, managing and communicating urban risk.
What is our expertise in Urban Risk and Resiliency?
Risk Sciences International has a vast portfolio of urban-related projects for major agencies, corporations and organizations. Notable among them is work for United Nations agencies, the World Urban Campaign, United Cities and Local Governments, the World Wide Fund for Nature and many more. RSI’s experts have vast experience in the urban aspects of public health, infrastructure, systems.
Of note, several RSI experts have considerable urban policy experience. While this is not directly related to the management of risk, per se, it allows RSI to provide solutions that are policy-aware. Assessments and guidance that is ignorant of policy limitations do not serve the interests of local authorities.
RSI makes available its full suite of epidemiological, statistical, and process tools. Risk Sciences International is the ideal full service risk provider for cities providing local authorities with both the tools and advice to face complex urban needs.
Urban Risk and Resiliency Case Studies
RSI Staff Case Studies listed here are examples, but by no means the limits, of RSI work in Urban Risk and Resiliency. These are included here to provide prospective clients with a first glance into the type of work that RSI staff are qualified and able to deliver.
Geneva International Airport was concerned that its signage was become problematic. Not only was it aesthetically overwhelming after decades of revisions and additions, it was becoming a safety risk with incidents resulting from misreading of cryptic graphics and conflicting directional arrows. In addition, the airport was suffering from traffic pattern issues, both for automobiles outside…Read More
The project began with a series of consultations with UN-Habitat at UNON in Nairobi. In addition to Cemil Alyanak and Nicholas you, the project grew to include many key stakeholders both within UN-Habitat and from other organizations. Among the key organizations included in the early stages were United Cities and Local Governments, Cities Alliance, the World Bank, Habitat for Humanity, Cisco, and UN agencies interested in urban health, notably the World Health Organization.Read More