November 17, 2020
Title: BOSAI and Beyond: Building Disaster Resilient Cities
Date: November 17th, 2020
Sponsors: JICA and IDB Co-sponsored
Location: Online (Zoom)
Mr. Shigeo Shimizu, Executive Director for Japan, IDB
Mr. Sergio Lacambra, Principal Specialist on Disaster Risk Reduction, IDB
Mr. Shinichi Fukasawa, Director, Manager, Urban Development Department, Nippon Koei Co., Ltd.
Mr. Yuki Takahashi, Disaster Prevention and Environmental Management Office,
City Planning Policy Bureau,City of Sendai
Mr. Sergio Baeriswyl Rada, President, National Council of Urban Development, Concepcion, Chile
Ms. Alexa Morales, Director, Risk Management Unit, Municipality of Manizales, Colombia
Mr. Takayoshi Tange, Director, South America Division, JICA
Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is a disaster-prone region, experiencing numerous earthquakes, floods, landslies, hurricanes, and other natural disasters, similar to Japan. According to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) the region experienced 4,125 natural disasters between 1980 and 2016, whose economic loss amount to approximately US$282 billion. The LAC region also has a high urbanization rate (over 80% of its population lives in urban areas), and therefore, buildting and maintaining disaster-resilient cities is fundamental to sustainable socio-economic development.
JICA and IDB have deepend their collaboration over the years, namely through co-financing arrangements and knowledge exchange. In this online-seminar, JICA share experiences in building disaster-resilient cities in Asia, and the City of Sendai shared their experience in rebuilding from the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. Presenters from Chile and Colombia were invited by the IDB to share their experiences and knowledge on building tsunami-resilient and earthquake resilient cities.
From Japan, presenters reiterated the importance of pre-investment and preparation for disasters, which helps cities achieve faster recovery and reconstruction. The concept and actual examples of "Build Back Better" was explained by Sendai City. JICA shared its experience in providing technical cooperation to cities in Asia, whereby counterparts (government officials) learned how to gather and organize information for disaster risk assessment and how to utilize results to elaborate effective disaster response plans and resilient urban development plans.
From Chile's Concepción, the presenter shared how the city has strengthened its resilience against frequent earthquakes and tsunamis. The city of Concepción carried out earthquake and tsunami simulations, designed evacuation routes based on the simulation results, and built resilient housing and public infrastructure. In addition to infrastructure, they noted that psychological care for those affected, and the participation of communities is very important to build resiliency and promote fast recovery. The City of Manizales, Colombia shared its experience in the mainstreaming of disaster risk assessment in urban planning, seismic micro-zoning, establishment of meteriological stations across the country, and community engagement to build resiliency against earthquakes and landslides.