September 23, 2019
SEOUL – WeGO supported this year’s first International Urban Resilience Forum, co-organized by President City Seoul and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR).
WeGO President and Mayor of Seoul, Won-soon Park, along with city leaders from around the world convened today to share trends and best practice in sustainable development, and to discuss ways to strengthen resilience in the face of challenges caused by pressing issues such as climate change.
In the opening of the forum, Mayor Park presented his Resilient Seoul strategy, outlining the roadmap by which his city plans to increase its resilience to ensure the physical, social, and economic stability and safety of its citizens. WeGO Secretary General Kyong-yul Lee also delivered congratulatory remarks to the plenary, likening urban resilience to the body’s immune system, which functions to resist, adapt, and transform to cope with acute shocks and chronic stresses.
WeGO’s Program Director then moderated a panel discussion on “Enhancing Urban Resilience through Smart Technology,” drawing attention to the importance of data and showcasing cities’ innovative methods to collect, share, and utilize data for improved disaster mitigation and response. Experts from the public and private sectors in Israel, Japan, Korea, Portugal, and Tanzania discussed their approaches to urban resilience and agreed on the necessity to shift from a reactive to a proactive mindset in doing so.
Over 300 participants took part in the day of sessions, with representatives from over a dozen cities including WeGO members Bandung, Makati, San Francisco, and Tashkent. WeGO also took the opportunity to establish informal relations with organizations such as 100 Resilient Cities, and are now exploring ways to partner in the shared interests of their respective networks.
With its own commitment to urban resilience, Seoul plans to continue carrying out the International Urban Resilience Forum annually.