Resilient Sydney

Resilient Sydney

As one city, metropolitan Sydney is connected, inclusive and resilient

In 2015 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.

What is urban resilience?

100 Resilient Cities describes urban resilience as the capacity of individuals, communities, businesses, institutions and systems within a city to survive, adapt and thrive no matter what kinds of chronic stresses and acute shocks they face.

Acute shocks are sudden, sharp disaster events that threaten a city. Examples include heatwaves, bushfires, disease outbreaks and cyber-attacks.

Chronic stresses undermine a city on a daily or cyclical basis. Examples include rising inequity, lack of social cohesion and inadequate public transport.

Addressing the chronic stresses and preparing our city for disasters will improve our resilience overall. Strengthening our city systems will ensure we emerge stronger after tough times, and live better in good times.

Resilient Sydney

Sydney receives funding and support from 100 Resilient Cities to develop and implement a resilience strategy for metropolitan Sydney.

The Resilient Sydney office began work in late 2015 and includes the Chief Resilience Officer, Beck Dawson and Deputy, Kristin Gabriel. The office is hosted by the City of Sydney.

Resilient Sydney is a collaboration with all the councils of metropolitan Sydney and the NSW Government. Every council in metropolitan Sydney has nominated a resilience ambassador  to support the program and ensure their part of the city is represented and engaged. A steering committee is established including representatives from each of the planning districts of metropolitan Sydney, NSW Government, business and the community sector.

Developing the Resilient Sydney strategy 

The Resilient Sydney strategy is being developed in 3  phases:

  1. Preliminary resilience assessment – research and engagement to evaluate the strengths, vulnerabilities and risks for our city and identify the key challenges facing metropolitan Sydney.
  2. Strategy development – broad engagement across metropolitan Sydney to identify solutions and actions to address the challenges.
  3. Implementation – investment, policy and practical actions to build resilience across city systems in metropolitan Sydney and deliver the strategy.

Work to date

Agenda setting workshop

Resilient Sydney was launched in June 2015 with an agenda setting workshop. 150 stakeholders from business, state government, councils of metropolitan Sydney, community services and the arts attended the workshop to discuss the critical issues facing metropolitan Sydney. We invite you to view the workshop report.

Preliminary resilience assessment

The preliminary resilience assessment was completed in 2016. It outlines the risks, vulnerabilities and key challenges facing metropolitan Sydney. We invite you to view the assessment and more detailed city context study.

Is Sydney ready? 

On Tuesday 8 November 2016, CityTalks discussed how we can build a stronger more resilient city. President of 100 Resilient Cities, Michael Berkowitz was the keynote speaker.

Engagement to develop the resilient Sydney strategy

In 2017 we conducted broad engagement with stakeholders from government, business, academia, community services, the arts and the community (residents of metropolitan Sydney) to develop the Resilient Sydney strategy.

We invite you to view the engagement reports outlining the outcomes of this process. Feedback is now being considered in the context of project objectives, feasibility and technical issues as we develop the Resilient Sydney strategy, which will be released in 2018.


For more information, please contact: 

Resilient Sydney team
02 9265 9333


Last updated: Friday, 6 April 2018