6th NERPS Webinar: Sustaining the City’s Continuity and Enhancing Resilience in facing the COVID-19 Pandemic

26 February 2021 (Friday) 10:00-11:00 AM (JST)

About the Webinar

This seminar addresses the nexus between cities and resilience in dealing with disruptive pandemics, like the ongoing COVID-19. As it is evident in these months, there is no doubt that pandemics have significant impacts on peace and sustainability progression(s) of cities and communities around the world. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted some major flaws or shortfalls of our day-to-day city operations, urban management, services, and infrastructures. Hence, resilience has become an important topic of research, especially in facing pandemics. To ensure cities are better prepared for the future, we have to invest more in enhancing and sustaining the resilience of our cities. By highlighting some of the key points from his latest book, titled “The City in Need”, Prof. Ali Cheshmehzangi first introduces the timely topic of resilient thinking and then delves into discussions about sustaining the city’s continuity and resilience enhancement. The main points here address two poles of ‘preparedness’ and ‘responsiveness’ in dealing with disruptive disease outbreaks. The findings help to respond to matters of peace and sustainability, in achieving and maintaining sustainable-resilient cities.

About the Speakers

Ali Cheshmehzangi (Speaker)

Prof. Ali Cheshmehzangi is a Full Professor of Architecture & Urban Design at UNNC and a Visiting Professor at Hiroshima University. He has published 90+ journal papers and seven books. His two recent books are published in 2020, titled ‘Identity of Cities and City of Identities’ and ‘The City in Need.’ Prof. Cheshmehzangi is an urbanist by heart and by profession, with qualifications, practice, experience and research profile in urban design, sustainable urbanism, and sustainable development. He is a BRE Accredited Professional (AP) member. In 2015, he developed a comprehensive planning toolkit, called ‘Integrated Assessment for City Enhancement (iACE)’, which is utilised for planners and policy makers. In early 2020, he developed a comprehensive urban resilience framework, which was utilised for the City of Ningbo during the COVID-19 response plan.

Leila Irajifar (Discussant)

Dr. Leila Irajifar is an interdisciplinary academic working on the intersection of urban design/planning, disaster resilience, and complex systems modelling to better understand the interdependencies of physical, natural and socio-economic responses in the face of climate change and other social and environmental hazards. Leila is program director in the Master of Disaster, Design and Development (MoDDD) at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. Her teaching courses include “Building Urban Resilience”, “Industry Project Implementation”, “Shelter and Settlements”, “Disaster, Design and Development” and “Information systems in disaster response and humanitarian relief”. She had several years of experience in professional practice in architecture and urban planning. She has been involved in UN-Habitat’s City Resilience Profiling Program in Barcelona and worked on economic resilience in rust belt cities as a research fellow at the Institute for Great Lakes Research in Michigan.

About the NERPS Webinar Series

The Network for Education and Research on Peace and Sustainability (NERPS) at Hiroshima University in Japan is hosting a series of webinars on the relationship between peace and sustainability in the context of environmental, socio-political, economic, and technological transformations. This series is situated within the urgent need to deal with the implications of global change, including the COVID-19 pandemic, for peace and sustainability. The webinar sessions serve as a platform for rethinking and updating the current discourse on peace and sustainability amidst these global challenges and transformations. Leading experts will discuss the role of resources, digital technologies, migration, governance, and education in peacebuilding, conflict mitigation, humanitarian aid, and capacity-building, among other components that contribute to the achievement of the Sustainability Development Goals, particularly that of Goal 16 on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.

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