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Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Regional Urban Resilience Conference

Tags: 2019
  • Starts: Apr 02, 2019
  • Ends: Apr 04, 2019
  • Location: Beirut, Lebanon
  • By: Municipality of Beirut, World Bank (GFDRR), with CMI support

    What is urban resilience? Urban resilience is the ability of a city’s community to adapt to a variety of shocks and risks ranging from natural disasters to social, economic, political, and cultural changes. 



    Each year, natural disasters kill thousands of people and cause billions of dollars in economic losses. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are not immune to these effects. The region is exposed to a growing number of shocks and hazards that affect the stability and growth of its cities. 


    The interplay of climate change, population density, conflict, and water scarcity has intensified the risk of natural disasters such as drought, flooding and earthquakes in the region. Over the last 30 years, these events have affected approximately 40 million people in MENA countries and have cost their economies about US$20 billion. 


    Conflict in the region has inflicted great damage to human lives and physical infrastructure. It is estimated that about half a million people have been killed while fifteen million have had to abandon their homes. Urban areas have been particularly affected by the conflict and cities are facing significant service delivery pressure due to physical damage, as well as the influx of a high number of displaced people. 

    • What are past experiences and initiatives of urban resilience in MENA cities and beyond? 
    • How can MENA cities work together to address their challenges and make their communities more resilient?

    To tackle these questions, the Municipality of Beirut, in collaboration with the World Bank Group, is organizing the MENA Regional Urban Resilience Conference. The event was held under the Patronage of His Excellency Mr. Saad Hariri, President of the Council of Ministers


    The conference brought together city- and national-level decision makers, including mayors, technical experts and other shareholders from 16 MENA countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, West Bank and Gaza, and Yemen. 


    The Conference offered its participants the opportunity to exchange views on the challenges facing their cities and identify possible solutions and ways to collaborate in the future. Beyond the MENA region, other cities were represented, and their experiences showcased during the conference.

    Specifically, the Conference aimed to: 

    • Strengthen the understanding of urban resilience and its implementation in MENA as well as globally;
    • Promote regional cooperation among cities with shared resilience objectives; 
    • Discuss innovative methodologies, techniques and solutions to resilience challenges; and
    • Announce a shared regional urban resilience pledge highlighting the way forward. 


    Read Original



    Agenda (En/Ar)

    Speakers Bios



    Sessions' Presentations


    Day 1:

    Sameh Naguib Wahba, World Bank - Urban Resilience Matters [EN]

    Kazuko Ishigaki, Cabinet Office, Japan - The Importance of Resilience in Urban Growth and Regeneration [En] 

    Mathilda Khoury, Municipal Council of Beirut, Lebanon - Towards a Resilient Beirut [EN]

    Elizabeth Yee, 100 Resilient Cities - 100 Resilient Cities [EN]

    Sébastien Maire, 100 Resilient Cities - Resilience Frameworks for Investment Decisions [EN]

    Arturo Dominici-Arosemena, 100 Resilient Cities - Panama Resiliente [EN]

    Kazuko Ishigaki, Cabinet Office, Japan - Introducing Japanese Resilience Examples


    Day 2:

    Tony Sfeir, 100 Resilient Cities - Resilient Byblos: Connecting With Our Past [EN]

    Isabel Margarita Cantada, City Scans, World Bank - City Scan: An Entry Point for Engaging with Cities on Urbanization and Risk Challenges [EN]

    Abdullah Al-Enezi & Ali Al-Hemoud, KISR - Urban Resilience to Regional Transboundary Sand and Dust Storms [EN]

    Al Leyah Rehabilitation Project, KISR [EN]

    Ana Ardelean, 100 Resilient Cities - Resilient Tbilisi [EN]

    Eric Wilson, Land Use and Buildings, NYC - One New York: The Plan for a Strong and Just City [EN]

    Arturo Dominici-Arosemena, 100 Resilient Cities - Designing, Prioritizing, and Implementing The Strategy for Panama City [EN]

    Steven Rubinyi, World Bank - City Resilience Program [EN]

    Khadije Nasser, Strong Cities Network - Strong Cities Network [EN]


    Day 3:

    Arturo Dominci-Arosemena, 100 Resilient Cities - Nature Based Solutions for City Resilience [EN]

    Denis Jordy, World Bank, - Nature-Based Solutions for Disaster Risk Reduction in the World Bank Portfolio [En]

    Competitive Cities are Resilient Cities, World Bank - Jade Sahlab