28 – Risk and Crisis Communication


Cities on the Frontline Speaker Series

#28 – Risk and Crisis Communication (October 8, 2020)

Covid-19 have been transitioning from a public health shock in early 2020 to a longer-term global stress and transforming urban life. While some cities appear to be recovering, other places continue to experience a rise in COVID-19 and public communication appears to be at the center of all the response.  It is probably too early to say, but cities that are open and transparent are performing better in their pandemic response than those who limit open communication and accountability.

Still, the pandemic has limited the ways cities can communicate with their citizen. It forced cities to move into a more digital communication and different cities have different capacity to transition. However, we can see how this crisis pushes cities to promoting transparency and innovating for creative way to engage citizen in a constrained environment.

The session covered reflections from cities on approach and experience on risk and crisis communication. As the pandemic has strained cities capacity and resources, the session also looked at how cities are using creative ways for their risk and crisis communication.


Olivia Jensen
Lead Scientist, Lloyd’s Register Foundation Institute for the Public Understanding of Risk, National University of Singapore

“Two key elements in Singapore’s crisis communication: first, communicate the seriousness of the crisis and think and plan for the worst-case scenario; second, a maternal, caring approach to communicating they [the Government] will take care of people.“

Olivia Jensen’s presentation

Nadine Burbar
Deputy Chief Resilience Officer, Head of Local Economic Development, Ramallah Municipality, Palestine

“The city of Ramallah was zoned into 19 neighborhoods to facilitate better services. Through GIS interactive apps and spatial analysis to document cases, support decision making, and manage incoming requests we made sure everyone was heard and understood.”

Nadine Burbar’s presentation

Watch full session here:

28 – Risk and Crisis Communication