Globally, urbanization progresses at a rapid pace, especially in Asia and Africa. More than 50% of people live in urban areas and that proportion is expected to increase to 68% by 2050 . In low- and middle-income countries, rapid urbanization has not always kept the pace with improvement of building regulatory framework, enhancement of institutional capacity for building control, and the application of up-to-date risk data and engineering knowledge for safe and resilient built environment. Annual expected losses in the built environment resulting from natural disasters are estimated to rise from roughly USD 300 billion to USD 415 billion by 2030 . To reduce the loss of the built environment, improving building codes and regulatory frameworks is proven to be one of the effective means for mitigating disaster and chronic risks, and reducing human and economic losses. Building regulations are also used to address broader societal needs such as accessibility, affordability and resource efficiency. They also facilitate economic development by establishing competent and reliable regulatory environment that incentivize investments, providing the market with a clear set of design and construction requirements and quality standards.

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Program Description

The Building Regulation for Resilience Program promotes activities to improve regulatory system for a safe, green, healthy and inclusive built environment. The services focus on: 

  • Regulatory framework: Providing technical support to enhance efficiency and effectiveness of building regulatory frameworks.   
  • Capacity: Enhancing the capacity of countries to effectively implement building regulatory frameworks and create an enabling environment for compliance
  • Knowledge: Creating partnerships and leveraging global good practices to support countries in driving the right behaviors to build resilience 

BRR engagements are often initiated with a preliminary policy dialogue and scoping of the building regulatory diagnostics. Analytical works usually follow to understand the building regulatory framework and implementation mechanism and identify opportunities for improvements (e.g., the Building Regulatory Capacity Assessment (BRCA)). The findings and recommendations of this analytical works are validated and discussed among key counterparts in countries and prioritized for critical reforms and investments. Identified priority actions for follow-up are often strategically integrated as part of larger DRM investments and policy reforms.  



Building Regulation for Resilience: Managing Risks for Safer Cities

This World Bank-GFDRR report, Building Regulation for Resilience: Managing Risks for Safer Cities, outlines the benefits of strong and effective building regulatory frameworks. This report provides a resource to assist policymakers, governments, donor entities, and key private sector players in leveraging good-practice building regulation to underpin risk-reduction strategies. It addresses vulnerability reduction in cities across the developing world and proposes to support disaster-prone countries in implementing effective regulatory reform

Building Regulatory Capacity Assessment

The Building Regulatory Capacity Assessment aims to support cities and project managers working with development agencies by offering a new resource to assess building and land-use regulatory systems, and facilitate the collection of critical information about the building regulatory framework in any given city or country. The assessment is designed to offer an effective resource for interventions within a wide range of urban development initiatives in cities of low and middle-income countries.

Private Sector Engagement

The world has witnessed an unparalleled expansion of cities in recent decades. The urban population of developing economies is projected to double by 2030, while the area covered by cities could triple. In tandem with this trend, the construction industry is forecast to grow by more than 70%, reaching $15 trillion by 2025.

With the population of cities rising around the world, municipal authorities are struggling to keep up with increased demand for their services. In developing economies, in particular, building departments operating under tight budgets and resource constraints are finding it increasingly difficult to enforce building codes, ensure that quality standards are met and adhere to efficient service delivery processing times. Doing Business 2018: Dealing with Construction Permits tracked private participation in construction regulation. 

Where We Work

Grants Map

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Building Regulation for Resilience Program: Introductory Video

Key Contacts
Ana Campos Garcia
Lead DRM Specialist
Keiko Sakoda
DRM Specialist