International workshops


Building resilient communities through urban planning and the integration of natural sciences

13 January, 2015

Geneva, Switzerland


Natural and human-induced hazards strongly affect vulnerable populations, especially the urban poor. These hazards, along with the effects of climate change, are posing unprecedented challenges to cities and human settlements while they are a serious threat to social and economic development. The vulnerability of these hazard-prone regions is exacerbated by dense population in hazardous areas, environmental degradation, unsustainable use of water and natural resources, and poverty. Additional impacts include the increasing value of buildings, and infrastructure that deprives many social groups of adequate and affordable housing, lack of access to information, and deficiencies in urban planning and governance in emerging countries and cities. Many of these impacts are the consequence of natural and human-induced hazards, and they can be prevented if governments develop and implement urban planning tools and policies built from the Natural Sciences and related studies on hazards and risks. This workshop will discuss the integration of hazard and risk analysis into policy making for cities and human settlements.

Workshop objective

To discuss the integration of Natural Science data and research into the development of comprehensive natural disaster-risk mitigation strategies for cities and human settlements.

Specific objectives

  1. To identify main impacts of natural and human-induced hazards on cities and human settlements
  2. To determine the type of hazard and vulnerability data and evaluation required by policy makers for a comprehensive and risk-sensitive urban planning
  3. To identify the main challenges associated with the integration of hazard and vulnerability data within risk-sensitive urban planning

Workshop outcomes

At the end of the workshop, participants from different organizations and institutions, including policymakers, scientists, academics and experts have:

  • Contributed to strengthen the links between the Natural Sciences and policymaking;
  •  Identified the areas where expertise, available information and knowledge of Natural Science and research can be integrated into policymaking for inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities and human settlements;
  • Contributed to the meeting report that summarizes the break-out sessions and includes recommendations and contributions to the UNECE Policy Study on Urban Planning.


CERG-C UNECE Workshop Meeting Report in pdf

CERG-C UNECE Presentations here