Urban Resilience Initiative

The Urban Resilience Initiative (URI) is an interdisciplinary collaborative effort designed to examine the stresses and strains placed upon urban environments to determine best practices and processes to strengthen community resilience, specifically in Central Florida. Developed in fall 2019, URI is co-led by Dr. Naim Kapucu and Dr. Gurt Ge, faculty members in the School of Public Administration at the University of Central Florida. Based in the College of Community Innovation and Education, the School of Public Administration supports and educates students and professionals dedicated to careers in public service.

The goal of the initiative is to create a network of coalitions and collaborations among academic researchers, community partners and stakeholders that strengthen community resilience in Central Florida. URI aims to be a reference of community-and-partnership-driven urban resilience for other urban regions across the world, helping to strengthen the capacity of cities in anticipating and managing risks induced by natural and human-made disasters. We are a research network and enterprise that brings together community partners and academic researchers from social science, science, and engineering.

70% of cities are already dealing with the effects of climate change (United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees, 2018).

Globally, more people live in urban areas than in rural ones. By 2050, 68% of the world’s population is projected to be urban (United Nations, 2018).

Poorer populations are particularly vulnerable as they often inhabit more hazard-prone places and lack the means to recover from shocks and stresses (World Bank, 2020).

Disasters cause around $500 billion in economic losses annually (World Bank, 2020).

Over the last decade, China, the US, India, the Philippines and Indonesia are the top 5 countries most frequently hit by natural disasters (Annual Disaster Statistics Review, 2015).

Natural disasters force over 26 million people into poverty every year (World Bank, 2020).

URI envisions resilient and sustainable communities with the capacity of anticipating and managing risks from a conceptual approach. We engage in research, education, training, and community outreach activities to further this agenda and involve as many stakeholders as possible into the urban resilience building process.

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