Resilience strategy launched for Sydney

Councils of metropolitan Sydney have launched 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 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,” Sydney 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.”

Some of the actions detailed in the Resilient Sydney Strategy are already being rolled out. The Australian Red Cross and Insurance Australia Group have teamed up in support of the “Get Prepared’ flagship action to develop the Get Prepared app. The app will enable users to develop a personalised emergency plan in minutes to help residents better understand what to do in the event of an acute shock such as an extreme heat wave, power outage or water shortage.

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

More information is at

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