Cities new and old across the world are facing mounting risks as a result of rapid urbanization, the concentration of assets, and a range of natural and man-made threats, including climate change, political crises, terrorism and natural disasters. While many are inevitable forces, there is plenty that cities can do to either avert crises, or manage them effectively with minimal losses. Using the City Resilience Index (CRI), developed by Arup with support from The Rockefeller Foundation, we analyze and compare the resilience of Liverpool (UK), Arush (Tanzania), Concepcion (Chile), Shimla (India) and Hong Kong, across four key indicators: Health and Wellbeing, Economy and Society, Infrastructure and Environment and Leadership & Strategy.

While one would expect that developed global cities Liverpool and Hong Kong would come out on top when it comes to resilience and preparedness – and they very well do in most measures – Concepcion is ranked equally with Liverpool in terms of Health and Wellbeing, thanks to a high score on meeting basic needs. Meanwhile, the Chilean city, alongside India’s Shimla, both beat Hong Kong in terms of Infrastructure and Environment, scoring top marks for ensuring the continuity of critical services and providing reliable communication and mobility in times of crisis, despite Hong Kong having some of the best infrastructure and connectivity credentials in Asia.

Another key takeaway is that both Shimla and Arusha outpace the likes of Liverpool and Hong Kong in promoting cohesive and engaged communities, suggesting that the developing cities are fostering dialogue and co-opting the public in decision-making – something more established cities are often unused to.

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