Most of the world’s population lives in cities that concentrate the risk not only from the socio-economic and cultural conditions, but also from the natural and anthropogenic hazards. Tens of thousands of lives are lost and hundreds of billions of dollars of economic damage is sustained every year from natural disasters and these numbers will increase unless more resilient and sustainable environments can be produced. The city, regional, and central governments and private sector bear great responsibilities to invest into more resilient services, infrastructure, and risk reduction strategies for the purpose of protecting lives and likelihoods of all individuals living within the cities and those residing on the outside of city limits where the hazard sources are usually concentrated. Multi-level and interdisciplinary collaborations are essential to achieve the necessary transformation changes through the mitigation of natural and anthropogenic hazards, safeguarding of cultural heritage, building resilient and sustainable habitats and infrastructure, producing all-inclusive urban plans, educating the young in schools and general public on the benefits of risk reduction, and promoting flexible governance capable of collaborating with a wide variety of technical and non-technical organizations belonging to urban spatial structures. But can this multi-lever and transdisciplinary collaboration be accomplished and effective feasibility studies be developed and resources allocated to achieve the necessary transformation? Can we shift the focus from managing losses towards reducing the risks as suggested by the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and can the resilience targets of Sustainable Development Goals be effectively implemented? How do the resilience and pathways to sustainability frameworks lead to this transformation of cities in hazardous environments and what are the sustainability goals for each of these cities and can they meet the 2020 deadline for producing the Updated Disaster Risk Strategies ?
The following sessions will elaborate on the pathways and resilience to sustainability frameworks and discuss the synergies between these two approaches, and the Panel on Pathways and Resilience to Sustainability of Cities should aim at defining the Position Paper of the Conference on Resilience and Sustainability of Cities in Hazardous Environments .