IBM and AECOM join UN Campaign to make cities resilient

Source(s): United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction

GENEVA, 11 March 2014 – The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) is working with IBM (NYSE: IBM), and global planning, design and engineering firm AECOM to measure cities’ resilience to disasters.

The first fruit of the partnership is an innovative Disaster Resilience Scorecard created for use by members of UNISDR’s “Making Cities Resilient” campaign which has been running now for almost four years.

The scorecard is based on the Campaign’s Ten Essentials – UNISDR’s list of top priorities for building urban resilience to disasters — and has been developed by IBM and AECOM. A list of potential cities is being developed to test the scorecard and to support their disaster resilience planning.

The Disaster Resilience Scorecard reviews policy and planning, engineering, informational, organizational, financial, social and environmental aspects of disaster resilience. Each of the criteria has a measurement scale of 0 to 5, whereby 5 is regarded as “good practice.”

The head of UNISDR, Margareta Wahlström, said: “More than half the world’s population now lives in urban centres, and how we manage urban risk will be a key element of the new global agreement on disaster risk reduction, which will be adopted next year and follow on from the existing Hyogo Framework for Action. Our objective is to help cities to plan and build for the future in a way that creates a safer environment for their citizens.

“I thank IBM and AECOM for their contributions to the cause of urban resilience. It is a good and concrete example of the public and private sectors working together, and we hope that cities will benefit from using this Disaster Resilience Scorecard.”

Dale Sands, senior vice president of AECOM’s global environment practice, said: “The Disaster Resilience Scorecard, which makes use of our climate adaptation science and engineering data, enables progress to be systematically tracked, for needs to be prioritized, and for weaknesses to be identified before a disaster identifies them for you.”

Dr. Peter Williams, chief technology officer for IBM’s Big Green Innovations, said: “The Disaster Resilience Scorecard can help to strengthen understanding of what it will require to protect lives, livelihoods and economic activity as the world becomes more urbanized. And if we can put measurements around that, we will help to enable cities to track and improve their resilience status over time.”

The scorecard will be available at no cost through UNISDR, AECOM or IBM. Both IBM and AECOM are part of UNISDR’s Private Sector Advisory Group and the Making Cities Resilient Steering Committee. For more information see

About IBM
IBM has deep expertise in working with cities of all sizes, helping solve their toughest challenges. By bringing together big data, analytics, cloud, mobile and social computing, IBM his helping cities realize the potential to build more sustainable, resilient cities that are focused on the needs of citizens.
For more information about IBM, please visit

AECOM is a global provider of professional technical and management support services to a broad range of markets, including transportation, facilities, environmental, energy, water and government. With approximately 45,000 employees around the world, AECOM is a leader in all of the key markets that it serves. AECOM provides a blend of global reach, local knowledge, innovation and technical excellence in delivering solutions that create, enhance and sustain the world's built, natural, and social environments. A Fortune 500 company, AECOM serves clients in more than 150 countries and had revenue of $8.1 billion during the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2013. More information on AECOM and its services can be found at

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