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This book presents a comprehensive framework and indicators that can be used to assess a city’s degree of resilience. Based on surveys using bottom-up assessment tools, it proposes the concept, framework and indicators of a resilient policy model (including some participatory approaches). It also presents case studies of this and similar tools applied to Japanese and Asian cities, the highlights including information not previously available in English. Today, the term “resilience” is prevalent in the context of sustainable societies. The IPCC AR5 published in 2014 again stressed the impact of climate change on natural disasters, while in March 2015 at the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, the United Nations International Strategy of Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) published the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction Action 2015-2030 , which serves as a guideline for local governments. Offering transdisciplinary perspectives from fields such as policy science, urban planning, environmental science, social psychology, management development and geography, this book discusses the lessons learned from Asian case studies, explaining the challenges and the effectiveness of the tools, and offering transdisciplinary insights for policymakers.





Chapter 1. A Framework and Indicators of Resilience

As an introduction of this book, we first examine the definitions and scopes of resilience and concepts of a resilient city using an extensive literature review. We then employ the concept and framework of assessing a resilient city and develop its indicators. Consequently, we define a resilient city as being capable of responding to multiple environmental risks, and we assume that a combination of precautionary, adaptive, and transformative measures is required according to the degree of external forces (risks or stresses). We introduce the policy model based on the assumption that the state of implementation and preparation of resilience measures is governed by three major elements: risks of external forces, vulnerabilities, and situations to be avoided. The policy model also includes three types of indicators—urban, citizen, and administrative indicators—which measure the state of each element of the policy model.
Kenshi Baba, Yu Nagata, Shun Kawakubo, Mitsuru Tanaka

Chapter 2. Assessment of City Resilience Using Urban Indicators in Japanese Cities

Conducting assessments using urban indicators based on public statistical information helps us understand the actual conditions and resilience of our cities and communities. Thereby it enhances our ability to resist, adapt to, and recover from devastating disasters. The outcomes of such assessments facilitate policymakers, government officers, businesses, citizens, and other stakeholders to detect weak points of the target city in comparison with other cities. In this light, various sets of indicators have been developed to assess the resilience of cities. Discussions on developing an international standard for resilience indicators have also started in a working group under the technical committee of the International Organization for Standardization. This chapter first briefly introduces the background of some important campaigns and movements for making cities more resilient. Next, two case studies of the assessment of city resilience in Japan are introduced. One is the case of introducing time-series assessments of a disaster-affected city to monitor the recovery process after a catastrophic earthquake using the CASBEE-City city-scale assessment tool. The other is the case of conducting the resilience assessment targeting major cities in Japan. These two studies show the importance of conducting the resilience assessment using urban indicators together with public statistical information.
Shun Kawakubo, Kenshi Baba, Mitsuru Tanaka, Shuzo Murakami, Toshiharu Ikaga

Chapter 3. Civil Indicator: General Public’s Cognitive Structure of Policies for Making Resilient Cities

This chapter attempts to clarify a cognitive structure of the general public in terms of policies for making cities resilient by analyzing data from web-based questionnaires in nine regions in Japan. The major findings are as follows: (i) Most respondents recognize the risk of earthquakes; most respondents regard “high percentage of elderly population, depopulation,” as a vulnerability; most respondents regard “suspension of administrative activities” as a situation to be generally avoided. However, the scores of most indicators of risk and vulnerability differed among regions. (ii) The cognitive structure in which external forces risk, vulnerability, and situations to be avoided are assumed to determine the attitude to resilience measures was basically supported, but naturally differed among regions in certain details.
Kenshi Baba, Kosuke Shirai, Mitsuru Tanaka

Chapter 4. Civil Indicator: The Resilience Index of Regional Communities to the Risks of Disasters

We created a public indicator as an index to measure the resilience of cities and regions against the risk of natural disasters related to climate change, as well as other risks associated with the changing social environment. The public indicator is one of the three main indicators (Baba & Tanaka 2015). In our online survey, we measured the commitment to residential areas, crises that occurred in the regions, and the vulnerabilities of the community. We selected the risks of eight natural hazards, then recruited respondents from eight cities and prefectures that have either high likelihood or a high frequency of experiencing such disasters. Our results indicate that respondents strongly recognized the risk of disasters that frequently occur in their own residential areas as crisis events rather than other disasters. Participation in community activities and a commitment to their localities were high in rural area. The recognition of vulnerability of homes and communities was low in urban areas. These results showed that resilience index of regional community in urban areas such as Sapporo City was high in the aspect of prevention, and resilience index in rural area such as Kagoshima Prefecture was high in the aspect of cooperation and reconstruction.
Motoko Kosugi, Kenshi Baba, Mitsuru Tanaka

Chapter 5. Administrative Indicator: Local Officials’ Cognitive Structure of Policies for Making Resilient Cities

In order to measure administrative indicators, we conducted a questionnaire survey among local governments across Japan. The results show that risks perceived by most local government officials included earthquakes, population decreases, and increases in greenhouse gas emissions. According to the questionnaire results, resilience measures prepared and implemented include the promotion of renewable energy as a precautionary measure as well as the enhancement of methods to collect and provide disaster-related information as an adaptive measure. There are differences among departments of planning, disaster prevention, and environmental policy. The multiple regression analysis results for each department demonstrate that the effects of drivers and barriers in the policy process are stronger than that of the perception and evaluations. As for environmental policy departments, the presence of other local governments to refer to is important in promoting policy. It is likely that the presence of networks of local governments would be important as an agent to promote policy transfer.
Kenshi Baba, Kosuke Shirai, Mitsuru Tanaka

Case Studies


Chapter 6. Application of the Policy Model in Sendai: the Experiences of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction Action UNISDR/WCDRR Public Forum, 2015–2030

This chapter reports on the raising of awareness among citizens who participated in the workshop on resilient cities held at the 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai in March 2015. We provided 18 citizens with four types of expert knowledge: a long-term climate forecast for Sendai; the roles of infrastructure as precautionary and adaptive measures; the roles of green infrastructure as adaptative and transformative measures; and the status report which consists of the assessment result of the resilience of Sendai City by urban indicators, civil indicators, and administrative indicators. Based on this expert knowledge, the participants discussed risk perception, vulnerability assessments, evaluation of situations to be avoided, and resilience measures in Sendai. The results demonstrate that this workshop was able to change the participants’ attitudes toward terms of self-support due to the fact that participants who had been personally affected by a disaster knew the importance of self-support and specific actions over public support.
Kenshi Baba, Kosuke Shirai, Yu Nagata, Shun Kawakubo, Motoko Kosugi, Mitsuru Tanaka, Ebru A. Gencer

Chapter 7. Multi-criteria Evaluation of Local Energy Resilience

Based on the data from the Great East Japan Earthquake, I have assessed the prevention (e.g., recovery from blackouts), adaptation (e.g., restoration of thermal power stations), and conversion (conversion into distributed energy systems) with the multi-criteria of the resilience value (e.g., the cost of avoiding blackouts), CO2 emissions reduction, and capital expenditure. As a result, based on these three criteria, conversion into distributed energy systems is the most desirable approach for local energy resilience.
Tsuneo Takeuchi

Chapter 8. Enhancing Capacities for Building Climate and Disaster-Resilient Cities in Asia: Case Study of Cebu, Philippines and Nonthaburi, Thailand

Enhancing capacity for building resilient cities is a growing concern among policy makers and international communities to minimize the impacts of climate change and natural disasters. The UN Conference on Sustainable Development 2012 and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015–2030) called for urgent need in building resilient cities to face climate change and associated disasters. For that, city governments need to be aware of current and future potential risks and prepare in order to enhance the resilience of the urban systems and communities. Drawing on the experience of Cebu and Nonthaburi, this chapter aims to examine how developing cities can effectively plan and take specific measures to enhance resilient communities. First, it gives an overview of the recent evolution of theoretical and conceptual issues related to resilience in development practice. Based on these analyses, a conceptual framework that involved four key elements (context, disturbance, assets, and capacity to deal with disturbance, and reaction to disturbance) was developed to understand key factors influencing vulnerability and enhancing resilience of communities. Relevant information was gathered by literature review, key informant interviews, and focus group discussions with relevant stakeholders. The study findings suggested that resilience is a process rather than a static state, and as such, building resilience cities to deal with disturbance requires improving three distinct but interrelated capacities (absorptive, adaptive, and transformative), which are mutually reinforcing and exist at multiple levels. In planning and carrying out measures for achieving resilience, emphasis was given to the actions on disaster risk reduction (DRR), social protection, natural resource management, and management of public goods and services. For the effective implementation, city government need to enhance the potential for science-based policy making, effective leadership, efficient financing, multi-sector partnership, land use planning, and citizen participation.
Premakumara Jagath Dickella Gamaralalage, Toshizo Maeda, Simon Gilby

Chapter 9. Strengthening Urban Resilience/Disaster Risk Management in Asian Cities

This chapter briefly presents OECD’s recent study which has assessed disaster risk management policies to enhance urban resilience in Southeast Asian cities. Between 2014 and 2016, the OECD analyzed disaster risk management policies of five Southeast Asian cities: Bandung (Indonesia), Bangkok (Thailand), Cebu (Philippines), Hai Phong (Viet Nam), and Iskandar (Malaysia). All the five cities face significant natural disasters risks as other Southeast Asian cities, but with substantial difference in the urban policy contexts. Based on the analysis, the study provides overall assessment and recommendations of disaster risk management policies for Southeast Asian cities, as well as individual assessment and recommendations for each case city. Among the OECD findings, this chapter highlights the need for integrating disaster risk management into urban green growth policy frameworks, as well as the need for metropolitan coordination. For example, the case of Bangkok clearly demonstrates the need for aligning “hard” investments in flood-resilient urban infrastructure with land use planning, zoning policies as well as with “soft” (i.e., nonstructural) instruments at the metropolitan scale. The chapter also underlines that successful disaster risk management outcomes will require locally tailored policies, taking different urban policy contexts into account.
Tadashi Matsumoto

Chapter 10. Knowledge Co-production Processes for Building Disaster Resilience of Communities in Coastal Areas: A Case Study of Baler, Aurora, Philippines

One of the cornerstones of disaster risk reduction (DRR) is to build the resilience of communities against the negative effects of hazards. Part of this process may entail communities’ participation in knowledge co-production and decision making, which can be done through participatory grassroots approaches. To illustrate how strategies for building disaster-resilient communities would benefit from the use of grassroots assessments methods, a real-world application of a participatory approach was undertaken in the five coastal communities of Baler in the province of Aurora in the Philippines. The approach is two-pronged consisting of a survey of communities’ perception of disaster resilience, and a participatory workshop for understanding the gaps in the current DRR system. The former was based on a six-level scoring system modified and referenced from the Communities Advancing Resilience Toolkit (CART). The latter, on the other hand, evaluated the four components of disaster-resilient communities using the four resilience dimensions – people, community processes, organizations, and resources. The results revealed that coastal communities were generally not disaster-resilient as reflected by the issues in organizational, financial, infrastructure development, and institutional coordination within the municipality. This attempt to induce a transdisciplinary process has presented useful information sources and provided mechanisms for instilling collaboration among different DRR stakeholders. More importantly, it paved a way for understanding how to use and put value to local knowledge as a source of information in developing strategies for building disaster-resilient communities.
Pedcris Miralles Orencio



Chapter 11. “Covenant of Mayors Japan”: Regional Re-creation and Global Contributions Through Climate Policy and Energy Autonomy

The Covenant of Mayors (CoM) initiative has been conducted by the EU from 2008, developing into the Global Covenant of Mayors (GCoM), the largest global coalition of cities and local governments voluntarily committed to actively combating climate change. CoM Japan was established by Nagoya University in 2015 and has acted as the regional chapter of GCoM since 2017. Challenges are expected for non-state actors, such as local governments, in the transition to low/de-carbon and climate-resilient cities.
Noriko Sugiyama

Chapter 12. Comprehensive Lessons Learned and the Next Steps

As the last chapter of this book, we first summarize each chapter, then derive comprehensive lessons learned from these chapters. Summarizing the above findings, it could be said that raising resilience is a form of manifested, flexible imagination, which has led to many scientific findings and data. In order to strengthen the resilience and adaptability of regions that have signed the Paris Agreement, the above-referenced three skills must be developed to deal with the long-term, obvious risks of climate change, as well as the short-term risks hidden within regional communities. It is important to deepen the debate of the natural social characteristics of past, present, and future cities and regions, of residents’ lifestyles, and of the awareness and needs of residents by understanding the external risks, vulnerabilities, and situations to be avoided proposed in this book; this can be achieved by using the related urban indicators, civil indicators, and administrative indicators adaptability tools and sharing specific, quantified evaluations, and by discussing said specific, shared methodology in scenario workshops or focus groups.
Mitsuru Tanaka, Kenshi Baba
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