MD2577 London City Resilience Strategy

Type of decision: 
Mayoral decision
Date signed: 
29 January 2020
Decision by: 
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London

Executive summary

London is publishing a City Resilience Strategy as part of its participation in the global 100 Resilient Cities Network.

This strategy is a starting point for developing long-term holistic resilience for London, bringing together different policy areas to deliver cross-cutting benefits. The strategy focuses on the long-term resilience challenges facing our city from now to 2050. Developing London’s resilience in the long term will improve our ability to manage future crises successfully, together. By investing in resilience now, we can prepare London for anticipated shocks and stresses, and for unforeseen challenges, and support Londoners to adapt and to thrive.

Cities and urban environments face complex and interconnected challenges, all more urgent as populations grow. Climate change and environmental degradation create a need for new ways of managing resources. Economic instability, inequality, social tensions and terror threats undermine citizens’ confidence and community integration.

The strategy proposes a number of cross-cutting projects that focus on resilience for communities, infrastructure and the environment and governance in order to support London’s ability to withstand future challenges. The cost of the relevant posts in the GLA’s Resilience Team is already funded and factored into budgets. Other costs as not identified will be met from existing budgets.


That the Mayor approves the London City Resilience Strategy.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

MD2351 (November 2018) approved London’s participation in the 100 Resilient Cities Programme, and approved the receipt of a grant in the order of £126,000 per annum from the Rockefeller Foundation to fund two GLA posts dedicated to supporting London’s participation in the 100 Resilient Cities Programme over a two-year period.

The 100 Resilient Cities Programme is aimed at benefiting London’s resilience preparations and arrangements. The initial phase of the Programme was intended to last two years, (to late 2020) and involve recruitment of two GLA posts specifically to work on the Programme. It was originally envisaged that this would become a longer-term initiative with the practices and approaches adopted becoming embedded in the city’s structures and resourcing plans.

The first year of delivery of this Programme focussed on developing and delivering a City Resilience Strategy for London that adopts and incorporates a view of resilience that includes not just shocks – such as floods, fires and earthquakes – but also stresses that weaken the fabric of a city on a day to day or cyclical basis.

Cities in the 100 Resilient Cities network – now known as the Global Resilient Cities Network – are provided with resources to develop a roadmap to resilience along four main pathways:

- financial support for the position of a Deputy Chief Resilience Officer/Urban Resilience Manager and Resilience Policy Officer;
- access to technical expertise in guiding the process of developing a resilience strategy through a Strategy Partner;
- access to support from 100RC platform partners – a group of leading service providers offering in-kind services to member cities; and
- membership of a network of world cities for knowledge exchange and learning to build resilience.

Membership means London is part of a network that includes global cities including from the US (including New York, Los Angeles and Houston), European (including Paris, Rotterdam, the Hague and Barcelona) and UK (including Belfast, Greater Manchester and Glasgow) – and enables London to learn from leading resilience practice and contribute to and share ideas on building resilience to new and complex 21st century resilience challenges.

The appointment of Dr Fiona Twycross AM as the GLA’s Deputy Mayor for Fire and Resilience from 1 April 2018 has allowed the GLA to move forward with London’s participation in the Programme. As part of the Programme, the Deputy Mayor has taken on the additional role of London’s Chief Resilience Officer and has been supported by a dedicated team funded by the Programme.

To develop the strategy, the GLA has worked closely with the Programme to build long-term partnerships to strengthen London’s resilience. The intention is to ensure that the London strand of the Programme is successful, and that resilience is embedded both in the work of the GLA and across partner organisations, and more widely in London. The Deputy Mayor for Fire & Resilience has led this work on behalf of the Mayor.

The critical first step of the Programme, committed to in MD2351, was to draft a resilience strategy for London within the first year of the Programme. The intention was for the Strategy to create a vision for a ‘Resilient London’, and build on existing work linking key partners, to ensure that the city can maximise opportunities to bring strands of resilience work together between teams, groups and organisations.

A planning workshop was held in November 2018 to initiate the strategy writing process, which drew together key stakeholders from the public, private and non-profit sector to establish priorities for the strategy. Since then, a number of sectoral workshops have been held to discuss resilience challenges, and develop projects and solutions to drive forward resilience, including in the voluntary, business and local government sectors.

Oversight of the strategy development process, was established by setting up a sounding board, made up from partners from the London Resilience Partnership (including representatives from local authorities, business, utilities, emergency services and the voluntary sector). This also ensured the strategy development process benefited from the synergies of the work of the London Resilience Partnership, while avoiding any duplication.

In addition, teams from across the GLA have been closely involved in developing the individual projects within the Resilience Strategy, to ensure close ownership of wide-scale resilience-building initiatives from across the GLA – supporting long-term embedding of resilience work within the organisation.

During the development of the Strategy, close engagement has also taken place with other cities on the Programme, both within the UK and internationally, and London has benefited from learning from resilience work already underway in cities such as Paris and Milan amongst others.

Objectives and expected outcomes

Based on the work undertaken since the inception of the Programme, the strategy contains a number of projects designed to deliver cross-cutting resilience, in areas where London would benefit from additional resilience measures. Projects are intentionally designed to engage across GLA teams, and draw in external stakeholders, in order to build new resilience alliances, and generate innovative collaboration on resilience.

Projects set out in the strategy are intended to be implemented by teams across the GLA, and in some cases external stakeholders, including members of the London Resilience Partnership - each of these are set out within the projects themselves. Projects are at different levels of maturity, and the intention is to use these to engage stakeholders through continuing resilience work, so new resilience partnerships and links can be developed and promoted to benefit London.

Projects should build resilience across community, infrastructural, environmental and governance dimensions of London. By themselves they will not ‘achieve’ resilience in and of themselves but are part of developing and embedding a process for London that allows us to review and understand risk, and find collaborative and multidimensional ways of addressing future challenges.

Equality comments

Strong Resilience arrangements will benefit all of London’s diverse communities.

Under the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) in section 149 of the Equality Act 2010, as a public authority, the GLA (including the Mayor) must have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation, and any conduct that is prohibited by or under this Act; and to advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not. Protected characteristics under the Equality Act are age, disability, gender re-assignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, and marriage or civil partnership status (the duty in respect of this last characteristic is to eliminate unlawful discrimination only). Compliance with the Act may involve, in particular, removing or minimising any disadvantage suffered by those who share a relevant protected characteristic, taking steps to meet the needs of such people; and encouraging them to participate in public life, or in any other activity where their participation is disproportionately low, including tackling prejudice and promoting understanding. In limited circumstances it may require treating people with a protected characteristic more favourably than those without the characteristic.

Although the decision to publish this strategy will not of itself have any direct implications for people with protected characteristics – and the intention to build resilience is to benefit all Londoners, elements of the strategy, when implemented, may have such implications.

As and when further decisions are taken on implementation, the decision-makers will need to have due regard to the matters set out in section 149 Equality Act.

Other considerations

The purpose of this strategy is to set out the vision for a resilient London, to build on resilience already provided in the context of Mayoral strategies and develop new relationships and learning on long-term resilience building from external partners.

Link to Mayoral strategies & priorities

The strategy references projects underway as a consequence of Mayoral strategies including the Environment Strategy, the London Plan and ‘A Smarter London Together’, highlighting the benefits that these and other strategies bring to help build resilience in London.

Consultations and impact assessments

A full analysis was carried out (as part of the Resilience Strategy development process) to understand the contribution of Mayoral Strategies to overall resilience – this is summarised in the Resilience Strategy – and indicates the benefits Mayoral Strategies bring to London’s resilience in the long term.

As part of the strategy development process we published a ‘Preliminary Resilience Assessment’ (PRA), in line with the advice from the Programme. The PRA reviewed risks and opportunities for London’s resilience, and highlighted areas where we considered further work would be beneficial to further develop London’s resilience. The PRA was released for public consultation from early September to mid-October 2019 to collect feedback on the direction of travel of the work. Feedback received was used to further develop the strategy.

The Deputy Mayor has spoken at resilience events and workshops across London, raising awareness of the work, and listening to feedback from Londoners, and London’s businesses, institutions and organisations.

A partial equality impact assessment has been conducted alongside the strategy (as this is not a statutory strategy).

Financial comments

The implementation phase of the Programme does not have immediate financial implications for the GLA as funding provided by the Rockefeller Foundation covers the cost of the two posts in the Resilience Team. The two posts that are funded by Rockefeller Foundation 100 Resilient Cities Programme are listed below, the total cost of these posts per annum is approximately £140,000 per annum based on their grade at midpoint salary scale including on-costs.

- Urban Resilience Manager (grade 11) - £76,000 per annum
- Senior Policy Officer - Urban Resilience (grade 9) - £64,000 per annum

Rockefeller Foundation 100 Resilient Cities Programme had confirmed they will fund £252,000 towards the cost of these posts to December 2020. The budget to fund these posts after December 2020 has been factored into the Fire and Resilience budget as part of 2020-21 budget setting process.

The cost of the projects contained within the document are currently unknown. Any costs relating to the strategy will be contained within the existing budget or additional funding by external partners may be sought. Where funding has not yet been allocated, the intention is to carry out further work to determine how, and whether, the project should be taken forward, and whether support should be sought from external partners.

Activity table



Programme commenced

Early 2019

London – City Resilience Strategy launch

5 February 2020

Strategy implementation

Throughout 2020

Programme concludes

Late 2020

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