Sydney gets prepared with first resilience strategy

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Lord Mayor Clover Moore will join mayors from around Sydney today to launch a new plan outlining how Sydney will cope with major challenges including extreme weather events, cyber and terror attacks, housing affordability, inequality and congestion.

‘Resilient Sydney: a strategy for city resilience’ is the first of its kind and the result of two years’ work. It was developed with an unprecedented level of collaboration across metropolitan Sydney involving 33 council areas, 100 business and government organisations and more than 1000 residents.

It was developed after the City of Sydney won a place in the 100 Resilient Cities initiative pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation. 100 Resilient Cities provides technical support and resources for cities to develop and implement strategies to help them survive, adapt and thrive in the face of 21st century challenges.

“The process highlighted our best qualities as Sydneysiders – generosity, inventiveness, a willingness to pull together, and a commitment to improving the lives of all our diverse communities,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“It is these very qualities that we will need the most as we face the challenges of the future. A rapid increase in density has put pressure on schools and early education and on open space, essential services and other infrastructure. Affordable housing is a critical issue and congestion is getting worse.

“We’re seeing rising inequality, more homelessness, mental illness and obesity. And we’re experiencing increasingly extreme weather events with every year classed as another record breaking year in terms of rising temperatures.

“All these issues are challenges in themselves and they aren’t unique to Sydney - the effects of urbanisation, globalisation and climate change are seen right around the world. They aren’t constrained by boundaries or different levels of governance.

“It’s why this strategy, developed with input from across Sydney, is such a breakthrough. Resilient Sydney recognises no one organisation can solve our problems and instead looks at how we can work together, across boundaries to protect and champion the needs and interests of our communities.”

Resilient Sydney strategy launch

Chief Resilience Officer for Sydney Beck Dawson said the plan marked a turning point for our city.

“We’ve spent two years talking to more than 1000 people from 100 organisations to identify actions we can do together to help us recover from shocks and reduce their likelihood,” Ms Dawson said.

“Our ability to bounce back is linked to the strength of connections between neighbours, businesses, councils and government entities. As more people and organisations adopt resilience planning, our safety and quality of life will improve. “I’m incredibly pleased to see leaders from all levels of government, mayors from every council, CEOs and community leaders united to prepare to improve Sydney’s safety and wellbeing.

“Every resident and organisation in Sydney has their part to play in making our city more resilient, whether it’s getting to know your neighbours or preparing your own emergency plan.”

As part of the plan, Australian Red Cross and Insurance Australia Group have teamed up to develop the Get Prepared app, enabling residents to generate their own personal emergency plan within minutes.

“Australian Red Cross knows a prepared community is a community that works together to recover faster. It’s why we continue to find new ways to talk to people about the simple steps they can take to plan for an emergency.” Australian Red Cross NSW executive director Jody Broun said.

“The Get Prepared app we co-created with general insurer IAG gives Sydney residents an easy way to keep their emergency plan, contacts, closest emergency services and more close.”

Resilient Sydney outlines five flagship actions, which will be implemented over the next two years:

  • Resilient growth target – every council in Sydney to adopt a resilience strategy;
  • Cool suburbs target – a scoring system to reduce effects of extreme heat, which is rated as one of Sydney’s biggest threats;
  • Cohesion and wellbeing target – a five per cent improvement in community cohesion in five years;
  • Preparedness target – 100,000 Sydneysiders to download the ‘Get Prepared’ app by the Red Cross and Insurance Australia Group;
  • Collaborative commitment target – 100 organisations to implement resilience plans.

The plan identifies the top threats for Sydney as:

Acute shocks

  1. Extreme weather
  2. Infrastructure failure
  3. Financial institution failure
  4. Water crisis
  5. Digital network failure
  6. Terror attack
  7. Disease pandemic
  8. Cyber attack

Chronic stresses

  1. Health services demand
  2. Housing affordability
  3. Social cohesion
  4. Employment diversity
  5. Inequity
  6. Chronic illness
  7. Transport diversity
  8. Drug and alcohol abuse

To find out more, visit

For media inquiries or images, contact Alex Cauchi.
Phone mobile 0467 803 815 or email

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, please contact Julia Lenton.
Phone 0410 748 039 or email

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