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Sectoral Urban Resilience

Critical infrastructure consists of the goods and services necessary for living. These are grouped into broad sectors including a vast array of multi-dimensional, physical and virtual assets, systems, networks, and functions. Incapacitation or destruction of such may have a devastating impact on the security, economy, public health or safety, and/or the environment.

One area most relevant to local actors is the protection of these infrastructures. Sectoral urban resilience ensures the continuity of critical infrastructure and utility systems. It aims to manage overall risk to critical infrastructures by warding off threats, reducing weaknesses or vulnerabilities, and minimizing the impact or consequences of negative events that may occur. Interdependencies among critical infrastructures should also be considered. Planning and collaboration while taking into account the vulnerabilities across different sectors is also necessary.

Shelter and Housing Resilience


Shelter and Disaster Risk Resiliency (SDRR) focuses on assessing current mechanisms for addressing the shelter/housing and livelihood conditions of the most vulnerable segments of the population, as well as the delivery of essential services to such marginalized groups, with the aim of improving the disaster resiliency of the process and systems for the delivery of shelter and other critical services to the most vulnerable populations.

SDRR focuses on six (6) areas, namely:

  • Disaster resiliency of slum shelter and housing policies and slum reduction programs;
  • Disaster resiliency of social support systems to the poor and most vulnerable, analyzing support from NGOs and government institutions;
  • Access to information on risks and hazards and stakeholders’ level of awareness;
  • Development of indicators that can establish benchmarks for measuring resiliency and tracking the effectiveness of disaster risk reduction programs;
  • Resiliency of core services to the slums and the poor (water, sanitation and drainage, transport, and health); and
  • Development of risk communication tools to facilitate access to risk information and to raise awareness of populations and institutions.


Urban Infrastructure


Urban areas are complex spaces with high concentrations of people and man-made structures such as houses, commercial spaces, schools and office buildings, and infrastructures (such as roads, bridges, and railways), and utilities (such as power and communication lines, water supply and sewerage). The society depends heavily on urban infrastructures for their daily functions.

Urban infrastructures are becoming more likely to fail because of increasing disaster risks. This can lead to serious consequences in the society’s economy and to the well-being of its people. EMI’s hazards, vulnerability, capacity, and risk assessment (HVCRA) component have shown that during extreme disaster events, injuries, death toll and economic loss will significantly increase due to building collapse and fire following.

In our projects, we help partner cities identify buildings and critical infrastructures that are at risk of structural damage and collapse. Our activities include rapid visual screening and hotspots identification exercises. More importantly, we recognize the capacities of populations at risk. Based on the assessments, we provide risk information that would inform local authorities and decision makers in prioritizing their DRM strategies by focusing on structurally vulnerable buildings and infrastructures that are located in high risk areas.


Water, Sewerage, and Storm Drain Systems

Lifeline systems provide the basic infrastructure that supports all other systems required for a city to function properly. A lifeline system’s resiliency refers to the amount of potential losses and its capacity to recover from disaster impacts.  Since system performances have direct impacts on communities’ social and economic systems, having resilient lifeline systems is essential to the overall resiliency of a megacity.


Water, Sewerage, and Storm Drain Systems are large and complicated geographically distributed systems that were built over long periods of time. The vulnerability of each system depends on its layout and location with respect to the geographic distribution of the hazards. Thus, understanding the geo-spatial distribution of these systems is very critical in determining community resilience.

In order to identify the lifeline system’s resiliency, we develop an overall understanding of each system layout and functionality, as well as their inter-relations with other systems. The seismic and flood hazard studies are also summarized to explain the vulnerability of each system. Policy recommendations, strategy recommendations, and action plans were then developed from the assessment of each system resiliency.




  • Disaster Risk Reduction in Greater Mumbai Project. Water, Sewerage, and Storm Drain System Analysis. MCGM-EMI Collaborative Project (2009-2011).
  • EMI, 2012. HRVA Component Report for Pasig City

  • EMI, 2013. HRVA Component Report for Quezon City

  • Infrastructure Resilience to Disasters. Retrieved from:

  • Homeland Security. Critical Infrastructure Protection and Resilience Toolkit. Retrieved from:


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