Resilient infrastructure featured by ICLEI SEAS at RCAP 2016
Panelists at the session, ‘Resilient Infrastructures and Mobilizing Transfer of Knowledge.’, organized by ICLEI SEAS at the second Resilient Cities Asia Pacific forum held on March 2-4 in Melaka, Malaysia.

Examples of resilient infrastructure and the ways by which the concept is operationalized by cities were presented at the session, ‘Resilient Infrastructures and Mobilizing Transfer of Knowledge’, organized by ICLEI Southeast Asia Secretariat (ICLEI SEAS) in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme Regional Office for Asia Pacific (UNEP ROAP) and the Asia Pacific Adaptation Network at the second Resilient Cities Asia-Pacific (RCAP) forum held on March 2-4 in Melaka, Malaysia.

The session was the second of two organized by ICLEI SEAS at the forum, the first being ‘City Realities: Tackling Challenges and Leveraging Opportunities for Local Governments.’

Mr. Edgardo Guya, City Environment Officer of Catbalogan City, Philippines, discussed his city’s Sky City Mega Project, a 440-ha. 'compact ultra urban model' intended to serve as the new city center following the adverse impacts of Typhoon Haiyan. To be built on a contiguous land mass atop the city with an elevation of 120 m. above sea level, the project is touted as the “urgent and timely solution for the city’s spatial scarcity problem brought about by climate change,” in view of the rising frequency of extreme weather events and flooding due to sea level rise.

Dr. Badrul Hisham Bin Kassim, President of Johor Bahru Tengah Council, Malaysia, presented the city’s successful public-private partnership (PPP) projects including ‘Forest City,’ a township development integrating smart and green city concepts. Ms. Dinh Thi Thuy Hang, Consultant at the Hue City Center for International Cooperation, Vietnam, discussed the eco-city concept in Hue City in relation to green productivity and climate change adaptation.

As for assessment of resilient infrastructure, Ms. Katharina Schneider-Roos, Deputy Executive Director of Global Infrastructure Basel, Switzerland, discussed SuRe® – The Standard for Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure, a global voluntary standard which integrates key criteria of sustainability and resilience into infrastructure development and upgrade. Meanwhile, Mr. Somesh Sharma of the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies at Erasmus University, Rotterdam, presented sustainability benefits assessment in project appraisal which tries to go beyond the ‘usual cost-benefit analysis approach’ and attempts to assign a monetary value on all parameters.

Reacting to these presentations, Mr. Mozaharul Alam, Regional Climate Change Coordinator at UNEP, highlighted the importance of knowledge-sharing (learning from mistakes vs. learning by doing) with respect to resilient infrastructure planning, dealing with different actors with varying interests, and looking at trade-offs. He likewise notes that APAN offers a portal which allows practitioners to look at various adaptation research and best practices by thematic focus.

The session was moderated by City Councilmember Pam O’Connor of Santa Monica, U.S.A., a member of ICLEI’s Regional Executive Committee in North America.

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