International Urban Resilience Forum SEOUL 2021

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 Making Cities Resilient 2030 (MCR2030)
Event language(s)
  • English

Event Description


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 the 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.

As the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic continues, we are now living in a world that we have never experienced before. We are facing a historic crisis, where the engines of our daily lives and economy have come to a halt. This has made us realize that it is an urgent task for humankind to effectively prepare for and respond to any unexpected disaster that might come our way. In particular, more than half of the world’s population lives in cities, and the key economic and cultural infrastructure is concentrated in cities. Therefore, cities are more vulnerable to disasters and experience a more serious aftermath almost immediately. Newly emerged and complex disasters have led us to address a whole new paradigm shift in our society.

The digital transformation driven by the Fourth Industrial Revolution has accelerated with the outbreak of COVID-19 as we live in an era of less face-to-face communication. Social distancing, video meetings, and working at home are the new norms of post-COVID-19 society. In such a process, the digitally vulnerable citizens who are not familiar with smart technology are left behind, widening the digital divide. As swift response in times of crisis is crucial, strengthening digital inclusion is surely important in urban resilience after COVID-19.

In this fast-changing society, the need for smart, safe cities that can solve disaster-related problems continues to increase rapidly. Thus, we must 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 2021 is a great platform for designing integrated solutions and sharing information on urban resilience through diverse sessions and discussions under the theme of “The new normal: building resilience in the post Covid-19.” 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 Objectives


  • 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




  • Opening Ceremony
  • Session 1: The new normal of Smart Safe City
    - Discuss ways to solve urban problems including aging infrastructures using smart technology
    - Highlight the role of technology in the post-COVID19 era
  • Session 2: The role of cities: Digital inclusion and resilience
    - Discuss ways to include the vulnerable citizens who are left behind in the digital transformation brought by Covid-19
  • Session 3: Cities’ actions against everyday disaster risks
    - Explore the roles of cities faced with global disaster risks and crises, and suggest direction for reducing disaster risk in the new normal


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



  • Seoul Metropolitan City


Date & Time


Date: 28 September 2021 (Tue)
Time: 10:00 - 18:30 Seoul
Language: English with simultaneous interpretation to Korean


For more information:


  • Contact: Ms. Ana Thorlund, UNDRR Global Education and Training Institute (GETI) at



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