I just returned from the Resilient Cities Conference 2018 where I was invited to make two presentations. I represented the City of Bloomington, Indiana in my role as Chair of the City of Bloomington Commission on Sustainability. This conference is held annually in Bonn, Germany.
Started in 2010, the Resilient Cities Conference was conceived as a way to connect local government leaders and climate change adaptation experts. The goal was to create discussion about adaptation challenges facing urban environments and to encourage partnerships that could benefit cities.
What is a resilient city?
“A ‘Resilient City’ is prepared to absorb and recover from any shock or stress while maintaining its essential functions, structures, and identity as well as adapting and thriving in the face of continual change. Building resilience requires identifying and assessing hazard risks, reducing vulnerability and exposure, and lastly, increasing resistance, adaptive capacity, and emergency preparedness.”
The Resilient Cities Conference 2018 featured speakers from all over the globe, which included Australia, North, Central, and South America, Europe, Africa, Pacific Islands, and Asia. I was one of three U.S. city/state representatives. The program was packed with sessions about challenges and strategies for cities as they adapt to climate change.
I was invited to the Mayors Lunch.
At the Mayors Lunch, we were given Rubik’s cubes to symbolize how one’s perception of progress can be deceptive. In trying to solving the puzzle, although progress may be occurring, things often look much worse before they look better.
In addition, I was invited to the Talanoa Dialogue and Dinner.
“This year’s conference has been confirmed as a Talanoa Dialogue. Talanoa is a traditional word used in Fiji to describe an inclusive and transparent dialogue and decision-making process. The Talanoa Dialogue was launched by the COP23 Presidency of Fiji and is designed to take stock of and strengthen national climate plans known as Nationally Determined Contributions, or NDCs. In order to keep global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius, greater ambition and more effective implementation involving all levels of government is critical.”
Great conversations occurred between the sessions.
It was a great conference that I hope to attend in the future. In my next posts, I will talk about my two presentations at the Resilient Cities Conference 2018.