Building Urban Economic Resilience During and After COVID-19
Inclusion and resilience are both processes and goals of international development agendas like the United Nations 2030 Agenda with the Sustainable Development Goals. The commitments to ‘’Leave No One Behind’’ (UN, 2015) and even more to ‘’promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels’’ (SDG 16) represent the shared framework for international, national and local sustainable development strategies and implementation.
Resilience is often defined as the ability of “individuals, communities and states and their institutions to absorb and recover from shocks, whilst positively adapting and transforming their structures and means for living in the face of long-term changes and uncertainty'' (OECD, 2013). Resilience is thus strictly interlinked with inclusion. In general, states that are more open and inclusive tend to be more prosperous, effective and resilient over the long term. The multiple and overlapping patterns of social exclusion prevent people from exercising their rights and opportunities, hindering poverty reduction by leading to higher rates of poverty among marginalised groups and reducing the productivity and resilience of the whole society. Because social exclusion prevents the realisation of rights and exacerbates poverty, it affects societies’ ability to achieve the SDGs and can further lead to conflict and violence.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had significant effects on cities around the globe. Measures and restrictions put in place at national and local level resulted in a decline in economic activities and high revenue losses for local governments. Recovery is not only key to allow this trend to be reversed but also to “build back better” more sustainably. Guided by UN-Habitat and UNCDF, the project to compile a compendium of practices to support local governments in recovering, planning and building resilient cities takes a multi-hazard, multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder approach. The compendium also includes case studies and lessons from cities based on the conceptual framework on urban economic resilience. As key characteristics of resilient cities it includes effective, inclusive, and participatory governance, partnerships with central and regional governments, reliable service delivery, robust public financial management system and close engagement with the private sector.
You can find UN-Habitat's and UNCDF's Global Compendium of Practices on Local Economic and Financial Recovery via this link.