UN meeting explores role of resilient design in urbanization

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Ban Ki-moon

With the humanitarian and economic costs of natural disasters mounting, the UN Secretary-General is highlighting the importance of urban resilience.

Addressing a meeting in New York on Friday ahead of World Habitat Day, observed on 7 October, Ban Ki-moon called for more planning to save lives, protect assets and guarantee services when disasters occur.

"Since the turn of the millennium, natural hazards have killed some 1.1 million people. More than 2.7 billion have been affected. The economic cost is estimated at $1.3 trillion. The poor, who are hit first and worst, have the least means to recover." (22")

Mr. Ban suggested that reversing urban sprawl is one way to improve communities' ability to survive disasters.

For example, he said instead of hosting slums, steep hillsides around city centres can be left intact to serve as protection from landslides.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’04

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