Geneva, 3 January 2011 – “In Sweden we have legislation that requires our communities, municipalities to work with a lot of aspects that are in the ‘ten essentials’ of the Making Cities Resilient campaign,” said Janet Edwards, International Coordinator of the Swedish National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, the body that brings together institutions in the country whose work touches on disaster risk reduction.
The campaign was particularly attractive for the Swedish government for its idea of promoting role models in disaster resilience, she added. “We in Sweden are particularly interested in pushing this in some way, even working in Europe or internationally to show the benefits of city-to-city learning. One of the things that we’ve done is to tell our municipalities that if they join the Making Cities Resilient campaign, that they are going to be able to have one exchange with another city, and that our national platform will finance that exchange.”
The first exchange tool place between Kristianstad, Sweden, and two cities in the United Kingdom,York and Hull, which share a common problem of floods. Kristianstad is particularly interested in drinking water supplies in connection with catastrophes.
“The people that really have to make sure that people are safe and infrastructure is safe are at the city level,” she said, praising the campaign for its focus on local government action.
She said the Swedish National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction was also interested to explore opportunities with the private sector, to improve risk management. “We are part of the national government, but we would really much like to do some type of investigation on work being done by the private sector. Spontaneously whenever I meet someone from the private sector, I have a little chat with them about making cities resilient. I think it’s going to take a little bit of time, but perhaps in a year, especially in time for the Global Platform in 2013, I believe that we could very much have the private sector involved.”