International Urban Resilience Forum Seoul 2020

Organizer(s) United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction - Office in Incheon for Northeast Asia and Global Education and Training Institute for Disaster Risk Reduction Seoul Metropolitan Government
Event language(s)
  • English


Date: 9 December 2020 (Wednesday)

Time: 10 AM - 5:30 PM Seoul/Incheon, GMT+9

Venue: Virtually (Seoul On & Youtube)




English (Korean simultaneous interpretation will be provided).




Urban safety is a fundamental value that supports citizens’ lives and urban competitiveness. During recent natural and social disasters, including the COVID-19 pandemic, strengthening urban resilience has emerged as a critical policy task. Global environmental transitions such as climate change and various economic and social shifts have complicated today’s conventional disasters such that they cannot be classified simply as natural or man-made. The effects of this change will have grave consequences. Therefore, a game-changing paradigm shift in disaster management is required.

In a rapidly changing and interconnected society aligned with technological innovation, a country’s concerns are no longer limited to that country alone. To achieve sustainable development by responding quickly to external changes such as economic crises and disasters, resilience is key to helping cities withstand unexpected shocks. To prevent chronic and potential disasters, we need a systematic risk control strategy that minimizes damage, reduces vulnerabilities, and helps people adjust to changes rather than focusing on post-recovery measures.

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic caused a previously unimaginable paradigm shift. For the past year or so, the chief priority has been treating infected patients and preventing the further spread of the disease. Now, as we begin to imagine the post-COVID-19 era, it is time to repair broken social systems and enhance cities’ long-term resilience for years to come. This unanticipated pandemic is associated with highly significant levels of psychological impacts on citizens, indicating a strong need to widen social safety networks through psychological preparedness.

In addition, with the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the need for smart, safe cities that can solve disaster-related problems continues to increase rapidly. Many countries in Europe, Asia, and the Americas have already begun to incorporate smart safety strategies at the national level. As such, smart technology is unparalleled in all areas.

Thus, we need to establish a smart, safe city in which all citizens can benefit directly from focused safety strategies, including disaster prevention. To accelerate these efforts, partnerships with businesses, academia, communities, and local governments worldwide will be crucial.

International Urban Resilience Forum Seoul 2020 is a great platform for designing integrated solutions and sharing information on urban resilience through diverse sessions and discussions under the theme of “Safe Cities in the New Normal: Resilience, Sustainability, and Adaptability.” The forum is aimed at introducing trends and best practices and facilitating discussions about ways to strengthen resilience and sustainable city development in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The forum will provide excellent opportunities for city leaders and executives, experts, relevant organizations, and members of civil society to share their experience and knowledge regarding recent disaster-related issues.


Event Objective


  • Share the best practices for strengthening urban resilience in global cities
  • Solidify cooperative channels and share information with cities around the world for holistic thinking about disaster problems
  • Discuss the trends in and applicability of smart safety technology for developing a sustainable world
  • Understand the importance of governance, including of citizen-participation and global partnerships for city resilience


Target Audience


  • Mayors and, governors
  • Executives involved in disaster management
  • Professors and academics
  • Experts (in disaster preparedness, urban planning, and civil society)
  • Non-governmental organizations


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