Urban risk platform


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The Urban Risk Platform is a network of local governments from throughout Latin America and the Caribbean interested in strengthening the integration of disaster risk management within their cities’ development processes. Through the analysis of common problems, the exchange of experiences and understandings, the Urban Risk Platform brings together city officials and authorities looking to strengthen their own risk management processes through joint initiatives for cooperation among cities as well as with other strategic actors.


  • Facilitate participation and exchange among local governments within the context of a wider regional dialogue in order to analyze common aspects of disaster risk being faced by cities from throughout the region.
  • Support and strengthen risk management processes currently underway in the region’s cities.
  • Support and strengthen local city government capacities for political lobbying and advocacy based on their own specific realities.
  • Support and strengthen ongoing initiatives surrounding research, training and capacity-building.
  • Construct a common vision and understanding of disaster risk affecting the region’s cities.
  • Promote and facilitate coherence and coordination between the priorities set forth in the Hyogo Framework for Action and those of sustainable development in general.
  • Promote, support and facilitate south-south initiatives
  • Facilitate interaction, involvement and coordination with regional cooperation agencies


The Urban Risk Platform initiative was presented by the City of Bogota, Colombia during the first session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (Geneva, June of 2007). It is linked to and supported by the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction - ISDR System through the UNISDR regional unit for the Americas and by the World Bank.


  • Generate new capacities
Strengthen and support ongoing training and capacity-building initiatives with inputs surrounding specific aspects of urban risk
Support and promote applied research based on the specific needs of cities
Foster and promote the creation of a specialized urban risk database
  • Public awareness-raising
Support and strengthen processes for disseminating public information
Promote social values that foster safeguarding against disaster risk
Facilitate the exchange of experiences, tools and lessons-learned among the region’s cities
  • Political lobbying
Support, enable and promote ongoing local risk management processes
Identify windows of opportunity for lobbying among various social actors
Increase the visibility and understanding of the realities of disaster risk
  • Support existing risk management processes among cities
Identify opportunities to promote the priorities of local governments within existing mechanisms and processes
Facilitate communications and agreement among interested social actors
Promote the exchange of tools and experiences among cities facing similar situations and realities
Promote increased articulation between national and regional levels
Support the identification and involvement of financing mechanisms and partnerships


  • Increasing urban population growth and density;
  • Consolidating decentralization policies increase the importance and role of local governments in disaster risk management;
  • Need for comprehensive understanding of the intrinsic relation between development processes and disaster risk;
  • Particular risks inherent to urban settings imply a need for specialized research and analysis;
  • Local governments must have access to available tools and instruments for priority areas of action;
  • A clear and determined need for a support mechanism that enables processes of cooperation among the region’s cities.

Advances to date

  • The initial design phase has concluded and a technical document produced
  • Important thematic inputs have been gathered, consolidated and validated with experts and development agencies from throughout the region
  • The formation of the Urban Risk Platform and validation of at least 10 key cities of focus are currently underway for the Platform’s operation during the second half of 2008


Guillermo Escobar, Director of Bogota, Colombia’s Department of Disaster Prevention and Emergency Attention – DPAE: gescobar@fopae.gov.co

Fernando Ramírez Cortes, Coordinating Consultant: framirez@eird.org

Jennifer Guralnick, UN/ISDR Urban Risk Platform Focal Point for the Americas: jguralnick@eird.org

Related documents

Climate Resilient Cities

Report by the World Bank, the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR) and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR)

July, 2008

View full report

ISDR Urban Risk Virtual Library

Urban Risk Documentation Collection

A collection of urban risk-related documents gathered within the framework of the IDRC Canada - UN/ISDR - CRID pilot project titled Disaster Prevention Municipal Information System

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