100 Resilient Cities Explore the Strategy

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A vision for Paris: A city that relies on its residents, adapts its infrastructure, mobilises its collective intelligence and the territories that surround it to turn the challenges of the century into opportunities

Driven by its motto Fluctuat Nec Mergitur, and as demonstrated throughout history, Paris has shown time after time its ability to emerge stronger when confronted with major events.

Our vision is to continue to reinforce and promote this resilience by adopting a resilience lens to the city’s development, looking at the challenges of the 21st century. Such challenges include the consequences of climate change (such as flooding and heat waves), the health impact of pollution and environmental degradation, scarcity of resources, the broadening of inequalities, which pose   risks to the social and democratic order, and to security and stability of the city both in the long term and short term.

In our resilient vision, these risks are looked at in a holistic and inclusive way.

Holistic because it is more efficient by building integrated solutions that respond to climate, social and environmental emergencies, rather than separately. Because public policy, from building infrastructure or equipment to setting up new services, must integrate from the outset the imperatives of mitigation and adaptation to global warming and reduction of inequalities.

Inclusive because resilience only works if everyone participates in it: public institutions, private actors, associations, inhabitants and city users, researchers. The more inclusive a society, the more it is united and supportive, and the more it can face to face all eventualities, daily as well as in a crisis. Resilience is therefore firmly people-centred, driven by all citizens and communities, and with a focus on the interest of children.

It requires an inclusive and supportive society, one in which all are involved: private agents, associations, citizens, etc. The more inclusive a society is, the more united it is, and the better it will be able to face all eventualities, daily as well as in a crisis. Resilience is therefore firmly people-centred, driven by all citizens and communities, and with a focus on the interest of children.

Finally, it involves mobilising the collective intelligence of citizens, associations and businesses to effect change through innovation and collaborative work, organisational change and cooperation with neighbouring territories. This is necessary for the resilience effort to reflect what is at stake.

Paris is already a world leader in the fields of climate and the fight against exclusion. By focusing on resilience, the city is creating a new urban development model that is more flexible, more ingenious, more efficient and adaptable to the hazardous changes in the world.

01 An Inclusive and Cohesive City Building on the strength of Parisian residents to become more resilient.

02 A 21st Century City A city built and developed to meet the challenges for the next century

03 A Region in Transition A city in transition that mobilises its collective intelligence, adapts its operations, and cooperates with its surrounding territories

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01

Building on the strength of Parisian residents to become more resilient.

Prepared. Collective resilience rests first and foremost on the preparation of each individual to face acute shocks and chronic stresses. This involves the mobilisation of voluntary citizens networks, the deployment of a wide-ranging training system accessible to all, psychological assistance for residents in the case of an emergency and support for parents. To this end, Paris will have tools to inform, train and involve young and old in the construction of a more resilient city.

Supportive. A city that is united and supportive is a more resilient city. Also, kindness and conviviality are conditions of both individual and collective resilience. They require maintaining and strengthening social cohesion by creating opportunities, places and projects, which support social bonds and the “connectivity” between residents. It is a matter of promoting one’s protection through others because we “have become united by the risks that we impose on one another” (Bruno Latour).

Citizen-driven. A resilient city is also a city that authorizes and promotes residents’ initiatives, because for institutions to acquire a culture of anticipation, society must first try to adopt a culture of action. In this sense, it is essential to inform and invite residents to co-construct and participate in the implementation of public policies. Tactical urbanism tools and new technologies can allow these citizen interventions.

The primary goals of this pillar are to:

  1. Prepare young and old to cope with acute shocks and daily stresses
  2. Create conditions that encourage kindness among neighbours and inclusion at the neighbourhood level
  3. Enable residents to co-create the city of tomorrow

02

A city built and developed to meet the challenges for the next century

The city of Paris is already leading on numerous programmes aimed at addressing its key resilience challenges. Responses to climate and social challenges; the promotion of biodiversity and nature-based solutions; and the integration of new water uses are all requirements for all levels of municipal action. The resilience strategy proposes to consider these existing actions in a more systematic and integrated manner.

Adapt. If residents are the foundation of urban resilience, it is also essential to adapt infrastructure and urban networks in response to the risks that threaten them. Paris faces many risks linked to climate change and environmental risks (future increase in the number, frequency and intensity of heat waves, major floods, intense rainfall events and frequent pollution peaks, etc.) and must adapt. At the same time, the city seeks to protect its most vulnerable citizens from these threats, and better adapt its infrastructure to their needs.

Multiple benefits. The city manages public spaces and facilities as well as urban networks and services, and ensures that they appropriately serve the city’s needs. In the long run, it is essential to evaluate the city’s infrastructure in an integrated way and to examine at each stage the multiple benefits that can be provided, beyond its primary function. Multifunctional, modular, flexible, redundant, this resilient approach to infrastructure must be a lever to accelerate the transition and guarantee inclusivity.

Explore. Paris is a dense city. In this context, urban planning constitutes a vast playing field for achievement and innovation to explore the city’ resources –its crevices, its peaks, its vacant spaces—and for renewing design and construction processes. It is therefore fitting, in the early years of this century, to make resilience an accelerator for urban innovation.

The primary goals of this pillar are to:

  1. Anticipate risks and adapt infrastructure
  2. Design infrastructure that creates multiple benefits
  3. Promote resilient urbanism in a dense city

03

A city in transition that mobilises its collective intelligence, adapts its operations, and cooperates with its surrounding territories

The resilient approach is an effective solution to turn transitions (such as ecological, energetic, economic or digital transitions) into opportunities for developing and improving living standards. Several approaches are proposed to organize these transitions and adapt public policies as well as territorial governance to tomorrow’s challenges.

Mobilize. Mobilizing and training of a wide range of stakeholders, producing additional spatial data on the territory, its vulnerabilities and the risks that threaten it, are some of the drivers that will enable a better allocation of resources and ensure the implementation of shared and sustainable solutions.

Organize. The city administration must constantly adapt its operations to ensure the continuity of its activities in all circumstances, and to make sure that, each and every day, its investments, staff and policies contribute to the resilience of the territory.

Collaborate. The responses to most of the issues identified operate at a scale wider than that of the city’s administration boundaries. As a result, improved territorial governance is needed. The creation of the Greater Paris Metropole and the establishment of new links with rural municipalities are some of the key levers to transform the interdependencies between territories into opportunities. These places that form a system, irrespective of administrative borders, and the urban metabolism, its flows, inputs, waste, shared assets, and economic links, must all be re-invented.

A metropolitan approach. From the start of the strategy development, a key point emerged: none of the identified stresses and shocks could only be addressed at the city scale. Responses must be formulated at the metropolitan level. Resilience is also a central theme of the first Innovation Agreement between the Greater Paris Metropole and the State, and at the core of the metropolis’ strategic competencies (i.e. planning, shelter and housing, management of aquatic environments and flood prevention). 100RC commissioned students from Sciences Po to explore this topic with cities and territories of the metropolis and other cities around the world. This resulted in recommendations for improving dialogue and co-operation, pilot projects to demonstrate proof of concept, ensuring its visibility in public spaces and its mainstreaming

The primary goals of this pillar are to:

  1. Mobilize collective intelligence and resources
  2. Ensure the continuity of the public service and the resilience of the administration
  3. Cooperate with other territories to initiate transitions

Our Resilience Team

  • Sébastien Maire

    Chief Resilience Officer

    @seb_maire
  • Noémie Fompeyrine

    Deputy Chief Resilience Officer

    @NoemieFomp

Read Paris' Resilience Strategy