Confluence is the thought leadership platform curated by Mahindra World City and McKinsey India (Knowledge Partner) that provides a forum for engaging diverse stakeholders to participate in the creation of thoughtfully planned and sustainable cities. Instituted in 2013, the four chapters of Confluence held till date have been an enriching experience for stakeholders representing government, urban planners, consultants, practitioners, financiers and other corporates.
The theme for Confluence 2019 is ‘Thinking Cities: The Rise of Resilience’.
Our cities are reeling under the stress of progress. In a milieu of rapid climate change, growing migrant population, inadequate infrastructure, pandemics and cyber-attacks, the urban fabric of our cities is getting increasingly frayed. A movement to withstand multiple forces of disruption must be catalysed. Therefore, a conversation on Resilience (the capacity to withstand / recover from difficulties; toughness) is important today.
OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) defines resilience as “The ability of households, communities and nations to absorb and recover from shocks, whilst positively adapting and transforming their structures and means for living in the face of long-term stresses, change and uncertainty.”
As Thomas Frieden, Director of the US Center for Disease Control, puts it, "Resilient systems are everyday systems that can be scaled up. Managing in an emergency is like managing normally, except more so." In other words, resilient cities are those that develop procedures that enable them to carry on their mission (whatever it may be) despite continuing and newer stress factors.
Building urban resilience calls for looking at a city from a 360-degree perspective; understanding its systems and interdependencies and the risks it may face. The challenge is to nurture methods and practices that are pro-active in managing risks and very responsive in dealing with adverse situations. It calls for innovation in managing urban areas.