The UNDRR, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, has declared Barcelona a European Resilience Hub, under its Making Cities Resilient 2030 (MCR2030) campaign, because of its policies for taking on disaster and climate risk in the city.

Barcelona will be acting as a Resilience Hub for three years, during which time it will be committed to sharing its experience and knowledge with other cities for improving resilience to disasters, fully aware that city-to-city collaboration is essential if we are to advance along the path to urban resilience throughout the world.

Barcelona has had a team of expert professionals working on and improving urban resilience since 2019, with the aim of preparing the city and preventing or at least minimising, if inevitable, the impact of exceptional emergency situations.

Resilience centres are part of the MCR2030 initiative, where every city has developed local solutions for improving the capacity of resisting and recovering from disasters, which can help to guide municipal policies towards the reduction of risks.

Barcelona is already recognised as an international leader in promoting resilience and as a centre of global cooperation, offering help to other cities under the city-to-city cooperation programme and the collaboration agreement with the UN-Habitat global resilience programme.

The city is working here to support cities to broaden their resilience profiles and make progress in knowledge and self-assessments relating to vulnerabilities. It is also collaborating with other institutions such as the "100 Resilient Cities", promoted by the Rockefeller Foundation or the C40 City Network.

The urban resilience

Resilience is the capacity of an urban system for preventing and resisting any possible danger or risk and recovering from it.

Barcelona City Council is promoting a resilience model that works to build a city with a greater capacity for taking on the challenges of today and tomorrow, reducing vulnerabilities and proactively overcoming effects to ensure city residents’ quality of life.

  • To reduce the city's vulnerabilities through preventive actions that minimise the effects of any tensions that may arise, so that the city is capable of resisting them while maintaining its essential functions.
  • To provide the city with appropriate mechanisms for the early detection and evaluation of any risks that may need to be managed.
  • To work to improve the city's ability to respond and minimise the impact and the time for returning the city to its original state, or equivalent, in the face of situations.
  • To provide useful information and tools for supporting the decision-making process – operational and strategic alike – on a citywide scale.

Resilience-creation process in Barcelona

Barcelona's urban resilience model is based on three cornerstones that correspond to the three stages making up the cycle of ongoing improvement for creating resilience:

  • Incident management, through the operations centre for public space and co-ordination with the city's other control centres
  • Information analysis, through the information-management resilience-analysis platform
  • Risk reduction, through resilience boards

Resilience boards

The Resilience Boards were created with the aim of reducing the city’s vulnerability. Their goal is to reduce vulnerability to risks relating to infrastructures and services, as well as natural and anthropic risks that may alter the functional continuity and the provision of the city’s services.

The committees are made up of multidisciplinary work teams in which technical staff from the City Council work with non-municipal public and private organisations.  The Resilience Department carries out cross-cutting coordination of the professionals and entities taking part in the projects to reduce the vulnerabilities detected. Over 70 professionals and 20 organisations are involved in the resilience boards.

The resilience boards in the Municipal Resilience Committee have been reformulated since 2021, in response to the growing demand for tackling the impact and tensions which have become critical over the last few years and following the vulnerable situations worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic.

International collaboration

Barcelona is collaborating with international institutions working in this field, with the aim of fostering exchanges of experiences and contributing the vision, experience and model developed by Barcelona.

These bodies include: UN-Habitat, with its headquarters in Barcelona, under the "City Resilience Profiling Programme"; UNISDR, which has recognised Barcelona as a European resilience centre under the framework of its "Making Cities Resilient" campaign; the "100 Resilient Cities" programme, promoted by the Rockefeller Foundation and the C40 City Network.