Digital Resilience

Today’s new normal requires models of governance that mitigate risk and respond to evolving challenges.

What is digital resilience?

Urban development that is both smart and sustainable is intrinsically linked to digital innovation in city management. Cities continuously launch new digital services and smart solutions in order to become more resilient, efficient, and attractive. They invest in digital technologies to help monitor the environment, enhance mobility, and improve the delivery of municipal services. The increasing use of digital technologies offers immense opportunities if well governed but also causes serious concerns because of an emerging digital divide when it comes to the goal of making cities accessible and inclusive for everyone, especially the most vulnerable.

Digital inclusion has become a core part of resilience in recent years; the way we interface with social services, infrastructure and transport increasingly takes place digitally. Its potential to integrate, amplify and innovate diverse public and social services has become key to cities’ well-being. However, digital inclusion strategies need to bolster current efforts to reduce socio-economic inequities.

Digitalization has taken a leap forward due to the Covid-19 pandemic, as people have changed the way they access services, interact, and navigate spaces. From a resilience perspective, protecting critical infrastructure from cybersecurity threats and power outages will gain in importance as urban systems are becoming increasingly interconnected. In addition, sensitive data needs to be safeguarded to prevent theft, unauthorized access or inappropriate use thereof. With the amount of data increasing exponentially, however, preserving individual privacy has become another major challenge in the era of Big Data.

Digitalization is key to accelerating the green transition and climate-ready infrastructure development. To maximize the contribution of digitalization to urban resilience, equity should be at the front and center of digital strategies. On the other hand, digitalization means that cities must adapt their resilience strategy to match their evolving risk profile otherwise they risk building a smarter but more fragile and unequal city.

Our programs on digital resilience

News and Resources

Global Risk and Resilience 2023 Summary Report

Global Risk and Resilience 2023 Summary Report

The pilot year of the Global Risk and Resilience Fellowship brought together city leaders.
Episode 17: Digitalizing government disbursements to enhance urban resilience featuring Visa and Washington D.C.

Episode 17: Digitalizing government disbursements to enhance urban resilience featuring Visa and Washington D.C.

Paul Wilson, Chair of SmartCitiesWorld's Advisory Board welcomes Agustin Botteron, former Chief Resilience Officer of Sante Fe, and Robert L. Matthews, Director of the Washington D.C. Child and ...
Government Disbursements and Urban Resilience: A Practitioner’s Point of View

Government Disbursements and Urban Resilience: A Practitioner’s Point of View

Digital technologies hold immense potential to enhance a city's resilience by enabling efficient responses to various challenges.

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