Creating resilient cities: ASU UREx SRN

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ASU is leading a team of 50 researchers and practitioners from 15 different institutions to help make urban infrastructure more resilient to extreme weather events.

By Kirk Davis

July 28, 2015

Video transcript

Narrator: Coastal and urban flooding. Drought. Extreme heat. Powerful storms. How people experience the intensifying weather-related effects of climate change will mark the next phase of urban living. Right now, extreme weather threatens urban populations on an unprecedented scale. The populations of cities face new and greater risks both now and into the future. This will impact the most vulnerable in our societies who are the least prepared. The current fail-safe design of urban infrastructure has been increasingly overcome by a series of hundred-year weather events, and with populations of cities growing worldwide, it is clear that urbanization is on a collision course with these extreme weather-related disasters. 

Instead of despairing due to political inertia that locks us into 20th-century approaches, we can move forward, bringing our best science to action through a broadly collaborative network. We seek to design more resilient, safe-to-fail infrastructures.

The Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network is an unprecedented matrix of nine diverse cities, each with a host of resources and all working together in unison to address these problems. With the resources of Arizona State University’s years of sustainability research at their disposal, the network will forge a novel set of tools that will address these challenges, and ultimately put cities on a path to a sustainable future. We envision a transition to future cities that are flexible, adaptable, socially equitable and ecologically designed.

Phoenix. Baltimore. San Juan. Hermosillo, Mexico. Portland. Syracuse. Miami. Valdivia, Chile. New York. The Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network.