Safe and Smart City: Incheon is recognized as a Role Model City

Source(s): United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction - Office in Incheon for Northeast Asia and Global Education and Training Institute for Disaster Risk Reduction
Mr Park Nam-choon, Mayor of Incheon Metropolitan City, receives 'Role Model City' certificate from Mr Sanjaya Bhatia, Head of UNDRR Incheon Office
Mr Park Nam-choon, Mayor of Incheon Metropolitan City, receives 'Role Model City' certificate from Mr Sanjaya Bhatia, Head of UNDRR Incheon Office

INCHEON, 5 February 2020 - The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) has designated Incheon Metropolitan City as a Role Model of a Safe and Smart City of the Making Cities Resilient campaign. An honour only a few cities have achieved.

Incheon joins the ranks of only 49 cities around the world who have attained this designation, which is a testament to the city’s leadership on disaster risk reduction, both locally and globally. 

“This appointment is an encouragement to work harder to fulfil our role and our commitment as a Role Model City” stated Mr Park Nam-choon, Mayor of Incheon Metropolitan City.  Indeed, the city has decided to establish a disaster risk reduction team to further strengthen its resilience and live up to its status as a Role Model City.

At the local level, the city of Incheon is making strides in fulfilling its vision to become a safe and healthy green city. It is already recognized as a pioneering ‘smart city’ for its integrated control centre which coordinates traffic, fire rescue, and responses to air pollution and disasters. 

Nevertheless, the city has faced a number of disaster-related challenges over the years. Its proximity to the Yellow Sea and its location downstream of the Han River, have exposed it to natural hazards such as storms, floods, landslides, drought, earthquake, in addition to human-induced hazards such as industrial fires, explosions, and marine accidents. More recently, the city has been impacted by heatwaves and is taking measures to prevent the spread of the current coronavirus outbreak.

To protect its people and prosperity, the city has taken steps to reduce its climate and disaster risks. Specifically, it has incorporated a new land use policy into urban planning and has promoted the use of green infrastructure as part of the efforts to conserve natural buffers.

Moreover, the city has revised its environmental laws and regulations to mitigate future risks and has adopted an inclusive approach which has sought to engage civil society and build community resilience. This includes raising awareness among the most vulnerable members of society, such as elderly, children and youth.

Since 2016, a total of 54 school programs reaching out to 2,904 teachers and students have been conducted in the city.  These efforts were recently expanded through a partnership with UNDRR’s Global Education Training Institute, which is based in Incheon. 

Beyond the city’s limits, the Incheon Metropolitan City, along with the Ministry of Interior and Safety of Korea, has been a force for positive change in the region due to its strong commitment and financial contributions towards supporting disaster risk reduction capacity development in developing countries.

The city has also taken on a global role through its active participation in the UNDRR Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction and by serving as a hub for facilitating sustainable development and green growth, including by hosting the Green Climate Fund.

“We congratulate the Incheon Metropolitan City on this achievement and commend its leadership on disaster risk reduction. Not only for graciously sharing its best practices but also for its generosity in helping other cities build their resilience," said Mr Sanjaya Bhatia, Head of UNDRR Incheon Office.

The Making Cities Resilient campaign was launched by UNDRR in 2010 and includes over 4,300 cities around the world. Cities that join the campaign pledge to take action to reduce their climate and disaster risks and build their disaster resilience.

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