Resilience, from an adaptation strategy to an economic asset

By Oliver Wild, Veolia.

Giving the tools to a city to help make it more resilient to extreme events… Veolia’s resilience approach consists of understanding the vulnerabilities in a particular territory and then mitigating them to more effectively – and more quickly – bolster its ecosystem and consequently develop a favourable social and economic context.

Strongly linked to sustainable development, resilience is a relatively new concept. However, Veolia has been implementing it for more than 160 years in its role as a partner of local authorities. The originality of the innovation – the result of the Group’s transformation – is being able to offer a combination of solutions. A single Veolia offering access to expertise in water, waste, energy, and playing its role of operator and adviser, partnering with the territories. Today, anything that can be identified as risk and opportunity from the point of view of resilience falls within our area of expertise. >>

PRIMO underlines that resilience of cities is at stake on a large scale and that the present state of resilience is not to be overestimated. Most studies and surveys underline that more attention and swift action is needed for improving and strengthening city resilience. For that governments, citizens and  companies need to cooperate to develop and extend. It is a balancing act between public values and their risks. A public risk can be defined as the effect of uncertainties on public values and objectives. Risks are in fact the deviations (p.e. pollution, lack of social cohesion, poverty) from our public values.