Visual: Cover "Memorandum Urbane Resilienz"

Memorandum on Urban Resilience Passed

Since 2007, the Federal Congress of the National Urban Development Policy has been a forum for annual exchange on current approaches and strategies of urban development policies. The 14th edition took place in Cologne at the beginning of May, during which the memorandum on “Urban Resilience – Ways to create Robust, Adaptive and Viable Cities” was passed.

The latest requirements, trends and ideas for the sustainable and integrated joint development of urban and rural space on a national and European level were among the topics discussed in panels and workshops at the 14th Federal Congress of the National Urban Development Policy. This year, the event focused specifically on the impact the pandemic has had on cities and municipalities in Germany.

One particularly important result of this year’s congress: the passing of the memorandum on “Urban Resilience – Ways to Create Robust, Adaptive and Viable Cities” at the event. Even though cities and municipalities are increasingly confronted with this topic – be it as a result of pandemics or extreme weather events – they often lack a shared understanding with regard to the characteristics of urban resilience and its influence on current and future urban development processes; there is also a lack in assistance on how to handle these challenges in the short, medium and long terms.

In autumn 2020, the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (BMI) therefore commissioned a council of experts with finding ways to ensure sustainable urban development, paying particular attention to resilience. The memorandum on “Urban Resilience – Ways to Create Robust, Adaptive and Viable Cities” includes recommended actions and presents conclusions for urban development policies. It takes up the guiding principles of the New Leipzig Charter while considering Sustainable Development Goals, the New Urban Agenda, the Green Deal and other key framework conditions; it also describes tasks and fields of activity as well as planning instruments and funding concepts.

Urban resilience and smart cities are two concepts that are intertwined, something that becomes apparent upon closer analysis of the recommended actions, fields of activity and requirements, be they the need for flexible governance structures; support for civil societal commitment; or digitisation as an instrument for sustainable urban development. New and agile cooperation models that include all stakeholders, an integrated view across sectors and the necessity for innovation are aspects that can be found in any good smart city approach.

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