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Sydney gets prepared with resilience plan

Resilient Sydney outlines five flagship actions, which will be implemented over the next two years

Every council in the city of Sydney is to adopt a resilience strategy
Every council in the city of Sydney is to adopt a resilience strategy

The Australian city of Sydney has announced a new ‘resilience’ strategy for the city, outlining how it will tackle major challenges including extreme weather events, cyber and terror attacks, housing affordability, inequality and congestion.


According to the city’s mayors ‘Resilient Sydney: a strategy for city resilience’ is the first of its kind and the result of two years’ work.


It was developed with collaboration across metropolitan Sydney involving 33 council areas, 100 business and government organisations and more than 1,000 residents.


The plan was formulated after the Sydney won a place in the 100 Resilient Cities initiative pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation. 100 Resilient Cities provides technical support and resources for cities to develop and implement strategies to help them survive, adapt and thrive in the face of 21st century challenges.


“A rapid increase in density has put pressure on schools and early education and on open space, essential services and other infrastructure. Affordable housing is a critical issue and congestion is getting worse,” said Clover Moore, lord mayor.


“We’re seeing rising inequality, more homelessness, mental illness and obesity. And we’re experiencing increasingly extreme weather events with every year classed as another record-breaking year in terms of rising temperatures.


Moore continued: “It’s why this strategy, developed with input from across Sydney, is such a breakthrough. Resilient Sydney recognises no one organisation can solve our problems and instead looks at how we can work together, across boundaries to protect and champion the needs and interests of our communities.”


Beck Dawson, chief resilience officer for Sydney, hailed the plan as a marked ‘turning point’ for the city.


“We’ve spent two years talking to more than 1,000 people from 100 organisations to identify actions we can do together to help us recover from shocks and reduce their likelihood,” said Dawson.


“Our ability to bounce back is linked to the strength of connections between neighbours, businesses, councils and government entities. As more people and organisations adopt resilience planning, our safety and quality of life will improve.”


Resilient Sydney outlines five flagship actions, which will be implemented over the next two years:

  • Resilient growth target – every council in Sydney to adopt a resilience strategy
  • Cool suburbs target – a scoring system to reduce effects of extreme heat, which is rated as one of Sydney’s biggest threats
  • Cohesion and wellbeing target – a five per cent improvement in community cohesion in five years
  • Preparedness target – 100,000 Sydneysiders to download the ‘Get Prepared’ app by the Red Cross and Insurance Australia Group
  • Collaborative commitment target – 100 organisations to implement resilience plans.

As part of the plan, Australian Red Cross and Insurance Australia Group have teamed up to develop the Get Prepared app, enabling residents to generate their own personal emergency plan within minutes.


“Australian Red Cross knows a prepared community is a community that works together to recover faster. It’s why we continue to find new ways to talk to people about the simple steps they can take to plan for an emergency,” added Jody Broun, executive director, Australian Red Cross NSW.


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