Resilience for Communities

RESILIENCE FOR
COMMUNITIES

Every community paints its own
unique picture of resilience.

We are on a mission to listen, understand, and amplify the voices of communities
facing barriers, so that local governments can better address their needs.

1
One in four people on Earth lives in an area at risk of flooding
2
Twice as fast as the world, cities are heating up and increasingly facing deadly heatwaves.
3
Three groups of people bear the brunt of disasters: the exposed, isolated, and marginalized

With the Resilience 4 Communities Program, Local governments are understanding what communities know, think and believe about risks and mobilizing funding to implement co-created solutions that help them become more resilient.

Resilience 4 Communities around the world

BOSTON
Boston is facing hotter days, escalating sea levels, and increased precipitation. The 21 climate disasters since 1991 have intensified the city's commitment to resilience-building. Through R4C, Boston has been engaging with its communities in Chinatown and Lower Roxbury, understanding their perception of risk. Soon, we will prioritize and co-develop solutions with them.
GREATER MANCHESTER
Greater Manchester has consistently placed its residents at the core of its Resilience Strategy. In 2015, flooding affected 63 communities, underscoring the need to prepare communities better. Through the R4C program, the city-region is set to engage with communities in Edgeley and Higher Folds.
HOUSTON
Houston has experienced six major floods in five years, and in 2023, endured its longest-recorded heatwave. After the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey, the city intensified its focus on building resilience. With R4C, Houston is engaging directly with communities in Alief and Trinity Houston Gardens to understand challenges, identify priorities, and co-design resilience solutions.
MELAKA
Melaka, with its rich multicultural trading heritage, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a magnet for tourists. The city has enhanced the resilience of its communities, businesses, and heritage buildings to withstand flash floods caused by the river flowing through its historical city centre.
BOSTON
— United States
Boston is facing hotter days, escalating sea levels, and increased precipitation. The 21 climate disasters since 1991 have intensified the city's commitment to resilience-building. Through R4C, Boston has been engaging with its communities in Chinatown and Lower Roxbury, understanding their perception of risk. Soon, we will prioritize and co-develop solutions with them.
Learn more
GREATER MANCHESTER
— United Kingdom
Greater Manchester has consistently placed its residents at the core of its Resilience Strategy. In 2015, flooding affected 63 communities, underscoring the need to prepare communities better. Through the R4C program, the city-region is set to engage with communities in Edgeley and Higher Folds.
Learn more
HOUSTON
— United States
Houston has experienced six major floods in five years, and in 2023, endured its longest-recorded heatwave. After the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey, the city intensified its focus on building resilience. With R4C, Houston is engaging directly with communities in Alief and Trinity Houston Gardens to understand challenges, identify priorities, and co-design resilience solutions.
Learn more
MELAKA
— Malaysia
Melaka, with its rich multicultural trading heritage, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a magnet for tourists. The city has enhanced the resilience of its communities, businesses, and heritage buildings to withstand flash floods caused by the river flowing through its historical city centre.
Learn more

Community Resilience

Resilient communities can withstand, recover from, and thrive in the face of climate disasters.

This capacity can be significantly enhanced by conscientiously nurturing and interweaving the five capitals: social, physical, natural, and financial.

HUMAN

Human capital considers the education, skills, knowledge, ability to work, and good health to pursue different livelihood and economic activities.

SOCIAL

Social capital is about the networks, relationships and bonds among people and between individuals and institutions, which can enhance cooperation, trust, and access to ideas and resources.

PHYSICAL

Physical capital refers to the infrastructure, technology, and other material resources that are produced by human economic activity and that are critical for supporting productive activities.

NATURAL

Natural capital involves natural resources and ecosystem services, including land productivity and actions to sustain it, that are vital for human survival and economic activities.

FINANCIAL

Financial capital represents the financial resources available to individuals and communities, such as income, savings, credit, and investments, which can be used to improve their livelihoods and well-being.

Equity builds resilience

When viewing resilience through a social equity lens, it is essential to consider how shocks and stresses disproportionately affect communities facing barriers and disadvantaged groups to ensure that everyone, regardless of their background, has equal access to resources and opportunities to adapt, recover, and thrive.

From the R-Cities resilience perspective, achieving social equity means ensuring that resilience-building measures are distributed fairly across the community, addressing the unique needs and challenges of these groups.

R4C focuses on factors that unlock progress on social equity:

1
Encourage community participation in research, solution development, and implementation
2
Empower and build capacity within often marginalized and historically underrepresented communities
3
Advance education and risk awareness to enable proactive and informed decision-making
4
Involve communities in funding decisions to address unique needs and barriers
5
Influence and shape policy to build equitable urban resilience

Building resilience requires action

The Resilience 4 Communities program gives funding through RCIFunds to put into action the solutions created with the communities to enhance their resilience to heat and floods.

R-Cities, Z Zurich Foundation, and Zurich Insurance had been working closely with the local governments and communities in Boston and Houston before scaling up their action to Greater Manchester and Melaka.

R4C is a part of the larger Urban Climate Resilience Program, which is active in 10 countries across the globe. This program brings together the Zurich Foundation, local Zurich Insurance teams, and five international organisations engaged in different aspects of global sustainable development and resilience building.

Get in touch! Connect with the R4C program team