Wellington Selected for UN Programme

23 April 2013

Wellington City has been selected to participate in the UN-Habitat ‘City Resilience Profiling Programme’ (CRPP), one of only 10 cities selected globally.

Wellington City Mayor, Celia Wade-Brown, says the Capital is an excellent choice as a partner city because of the type of natural disasters it faces.

"This prestigious programme involves developing tools that will assist local government to measure and increase their resilience", said Mayor Wade-Brown.

"Participation will help raise Wellington’s global profile as a leader in resilience planning and build Wellington’s capacity as a centre of excellence for research in this area."

The Wellington Region Emergency Management Office (WREMO) is already working actively in this field with an entire team dedicated to enhancing community resilience across the region and supporting community-driven preparedness initiatives.

Regional Manager for WREMO, Bruce Pepperell, says Wellington City and the rest of the region is an ideal location for this initiative.

"We are doing some ground-breaking work in this area with our Tsunami Blue Lines and the development of our Community Resilience Strategy, which outlines how we can support communities to be more resilient in ways that are appropriate for them.  This ‘inter-sector’ approach means will we be able to share good practices with others around the world who are working in this space."

The programme also aligns with several natural hazards research projects in the region that are improving our understanding of the earthquake and tsunami risk.

The Massey University and GNS Science’s Joint Centre for Disaster Research is leading an international programme of research on ‘building community-based resilience’. The Centre’s Director Professor David Johnston welcomes this initiative.

"This programme will help connect Wellington to several other international research initiatives on disaster-risk reduction, as well as helping the city make a global contribution to this topic."

Selection for the City Resilience Profiling Programme builds on success in other areas such as being rated the World’s most ‘liveable city’ in last year’s LivCom awards, and being recognised as a high performer in the Economist’s "Green Cities Index" for the Australasian region.

One of the first activities under the relationship with the UN agencies is participation in the Global Platform meeting in Geneva in May.

Mayor Wade-Brown is hoping to develop some video footage to be played at the Global Platform Meeting. Other agencies, including central government, WREMO and Massey University will be attending. UN-Habitat funding will cover some costs for a Council staff member to attend.