The Global Disaster Resilience Centre at the University of Huddersfield is a key partner of the UNISDR ‘Making Cities Resilient’ campaign and is also a Steering committee member of the campaign.  GDRC Professors Dilanthi Amaratunga & Richard Haigh have been Advisory Panel members of the campaign since its inception in 2010.

GDRC contributes as a main global partner in the campaign, representing academic, technical and expert institutions, and also contributes toward the overall goal - empower local governments with stronger national policies to invest in risk reduction at local level, as part of urban and regional development plans by working with them closely.

GDRC was an organiser of the 4th International Conference on Building Resilience, held in September 2014 to support the campaign focus areas up to and beyond 2015, including city-to-city learning and capacity building, and an emphasis on partnerships.

The Making Cities Resilient: 'My City is getting ready!' campaign, launched in May 2010 and addresses issues of local governance and urban risk. With the support and recommendation of many partners and participants, and a Mayors Statement made during the 2011 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Making Cities Resilient campaign will carry on beyond 2015.


UNISDR is working with its partners to raise awareness and commitment for sustainable development practices that will reduce disaster risk and increase the wellbeing and safety of citizens - to invest today for a better tomorrow. Building on previous campaigns focusing on education and the safety of schools and hospitals, ISDR partners launched a new campaign in 2010: Making Cities Resilient. The campaign is seeking to convince city leaders and local governments to commit to a checklist of Ten Essentials for Making Cities Resilient and to work alongside local activists, grassroots networks and national authorities.

Local government officials are faced with the threat of disasters on a daily basis and need better access to policies and tools to effectively deal with them. The Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters offers solutions for local governments and actors to manage and reduce urban risk. Urban risk reduction provides opportunities for capital investments through infrastructure upgrades and improvements; building retrofits for energy efficiency and safety, urban renovation and renewal, cleaner energies, and slum upgrading. Local governments are the closest level of government to citizens and their communities. They play the first role in responding to crises and emergencies. They deliver essential services to their citizens, such as health, education, transport and water services, which need to be made resilient to disasters. Based on the five priorities of the Hyogo framework for Action (HFA), a ten-point checklist for making cities resilient was developed that local governments sign up to. By doing so, local governments commit to implement disaster risk reduction activities along these Ten Essentials. UNISDR and its partners have developed this checklist as a starting point for all those who want to join in the campaign. Equally important is that commitment to these Ten Essentials will empower local governments and other agencies to implement the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters, adopted by 168 governments in 2005. Good urban and local governance is the key to this resilience! The vision of the campaign is to achieve resilient, sustainable urban communities. The campaign will urge local governments to take action now to reduce cities’ risks to disasters.

“My City is getting ready” is a rallying call for all mayors and local governments to make as many cities as possible as resilient as possible. It is also a call for local community groups, citizens, planners, academia and the private sector to join these efforts. While the campaign addresses citizens – those who live in urban areas and who elect the decision makers who can take the necessary steps to make their cities safer – the campaign’s principal target groups are mayors and local governments of cities of different sizes, characteristics, locations and risk profiles. Mayors and local governments are the agencies who can take action and make our cities safer. Mobilizing these important actors in the disaster risk reduction process is essential to making cities resilient. The campaign slogan has meaning for everyone. Whatever the city, the message to reduce risk will resonate with all citizens worldwide. For example, Sao Paulo is Getting Ready! Kobe is Getting Ready! Istanbul is Getting Ready! Santa Tecla is getting ready!

The campaign addresses primarily local governments at all levels (cities, towns, townships or villages) based on their responsibilities as first responders to the needs and well-being of the population. The campaign targets towards creating space for citizen participation, sound local/urban governance and accountability. More specifically, the Campaign is targeting:

  • Political leaders (Mayors, city councils)
  • Technical local government functionaries and other experts with an impact on a city’s development and safety (planners, city managers in different sectors, building regulators, educators, emergency managers etc.)
  • Local leaders, community and citizen groups, NGOs and other opinion makers- both as important partners, and targets.
  • National authorities, in particular to promote decentralization and in their role of regulation and influence over local policy and risk configuration.
  • Other target audiences as appropriate per country or city, including with private sector.

Key activities that have been carried out by the GDRC team in contributing towards the Making Cities Resilient Campaign include:

  • 4th International Conference on Building Resilience 
Incorporating the 3rd Annual Meeting of the ANDROID Network, 8 – 11 September 2014, MediaCityUK, Salford, United Kingdom (provide the link)
  • Hosting the UNISDR Resilience Cities Steering committee (provide the link to the events section)
  • Working group member of the urban resilience round table
  • The future we want- Safer Sri Lanka; Disaster Management Conference; 24-26 September, 2014 – BMICH, Colombo 07, Sri Lanka - September 2014
  • Partner of the capacity building ‘Making Cities Resilient’ campaign in Sri Lanka
  • Partner of UNISDR  - The “State of DRR at the Local Level”: A 2015 Report on the Patterns of Disaster Risk Reduction Actions at Local Level
  • Themed issue of the International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment (IJDRBE) on The “State of DRR at the Local Level”: A 2015 Report on the Patterns of Disaster Risk Reduction Actions at Local Level
  • Working as a partner of CADRE (Collaborative Action towards Disaster Resilience Education) project
  • Hyogo Framework for Action 2 (HFA2) Briefing
  • Working with local authorities on capacity building in the 10 essentials of the resilience cities campaign
  • International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, which is edited by GDRC members as the core academic journal in support of the making cities resilience campaign
  • Themed journal issue of International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment on Making Cities Resilient
  • Make risk knowledge, assessments and risk reduction part of the university curricula – input to University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka
  • Key note speeches and other sessions linked to the Campaign
  • International conference presentations
  • UNESCO Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (ICG/IOTWS)
  • ANDROID (Academic Network for Disaster Resilience to Optimise Educational Development) related activities

Further details on the UNISDR ‘Making Cities Resilient’ campaign is available at: