Have you ever invited representatives from different sectors to imagine their dream city? All around the table, designing their neighborhoods with wide public spaces and green areas, accessible platforms for cultural activities and even spaces that retain water to prevent flooding. There is an urban planning exercise that is just for that, and it is showcased by the experience of the Río Abajo basin in Panama City.
While rapid urbanization is creating economic growth, it is also changing the disaster risk profile of countries from predominantly rural — with drought and food security challenges — to predominantly urban, with floods, cyclones, landslides, and earthquakes.
At the time of writing, there are over 9 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide. Governments are racing to curb its spread, in part by ramping up social distancing policies. Many non-essential businesses are closed, and citizens have been asked (or ordered) to stay home—all with the goal of saving lives and livelihoods.
Although the immediate approach is to respond to the health crisis, the financial risk associated with natural hazards does not cease to exist. One option to address this challenge is to establish, prior to disasters and emergencies, fiscal and financial protection strategies.
When compared to densely populated areas, rural communities are more vulnerable to major health crises. So how do we support improved rural accessibility to hospitals in disaster-prone areas? One solution is geospatial data.
Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Regional Urban Resilience Conference
Each year, natural disasters kill thousands of people and cause billions of dollars in economic losses. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are not immune to these effects. The region is exposed to a growing number of shocks and hazards that affect the stability and growth of its cities. The interplay of climate change, population density, conflict and water scarcity has intensified the risk of natural disasters such as drought, flooding and earthquakes in the region. Over the last 30 years, these events have affected approximately 40 million people in MENA countries and have cost their economies about US$20 billion.