Events

Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Regional Urban Resilience Conference

April 2-4, 2019

Beirut, Lebanon

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What is urban resilience? Urban resilience is the ability of a city’s community to adapt to a variety of shocks and risks ranging from natural disasters to social, economic, political, and cultural changes. 

  • Each year, natural disasters kill thousands of people and cause billions of dollars in economic losses. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are not immune to these effects. The region is exposed to a growing number of shocks and hazards that affect the stability and growth of its cities. 

    The interplay of climate change, population density, conflict, and water scarcity has intensified the risk of natural disasters such as drought, flooding and earthquakes in the region. Over the last 30 years, these events have affected approximately 40 million people in MENA countries and have cost their economies about US$20 billion. 

    Conflict in the region has inflicted great damage to human lives and physical infrastructure. It is estimated that about half a million people have been killed while fifteen million have had to abandon their homes. Urban areas have been particularly affected by the conflict and cities are facing significant service delivery pressure due to physical damage, as well as the influx of a high number of displaced people. 

    • What are past experiences and initiatives of urban resilience in MENA cities and beyond? 
    • How can MENA cities work together to address their challenges and make their communities more resilient?

    To tackle these questions, the Municipality of Beirut, in collaboration with the World Bank Group, is organizing the MENA Regional Urban Resilience Conference. The event will be held under the Patronage of His Excellency Mr. Saad Hariri, President of the Council of Ministers

    The conference will bring together city- and national-level decision makers, including mayors, technical experts and other shareholders from 16 MENA countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, West Bank and Gaza, and Yemen. 

    The Conference will offer its participants the opportunity to exchange views on the challenges facing their cities and identify possible solutions and ways to collaborate in the future. Beyond the MENA region, other cities will be represented, and their experiences showcased during the conference.

    Specifically, the Conference will: 

    • Strengthen the understanding of urban resilience and its implementation in MENA as well as globally;
    • Promote regional cooperation among cities with shared resilience objectives; 
    • Discuss innovative methodologies, techniques and solutions to resilience challenges; and
    • Announce a shared regional urban resilience pledge highlighting the way forward. 
  • DAY 1: TUESDAY, APRIL 2, 2019

    08:15–08:45 Conference Registration

    09:00–11:00 Opening and Session 1 | The Importance of Resilience in Urban Growth and Regeneration

    WELCOME ADDRESSES:

    Mr. Jamal Itani, Mayor, Beirut, Lebanon

    Mr. Ziad Chebib, Governor, Beirut, Lebanon (TBC)

    Mr. Sameh Naguib Wahba, Director, Social, Urban, Rural, and Resilience Global Practice (SURRGP), World Bank Group (WBG)

    H. E. Mrs. Raya Haffar El Hassan, Minister of Interior, Lebanon

    KEYNOTE ADDRESSES:

    Mr. Jamal Saghir, Professor, McGill University; Affiliated Scholar, Issam Fares Institute, American University of Beirut

    Mr. Sameh Naguib Wahba, Director, SURR GP, WBG

    PANELISTS:

    Mr. Sameh Naguib Wahba, Director, SURR GP, WBG

    Ms. Kazuko Ishigaki, Director for Disaster Preparedness, Disaster Management Bureau, Cabinet Office, Japan

    Dr. Youssef AlShawarbeh, Mayor, Amman, Jordan

    Ms. Elizabeth Yee, Vice President, Resilience Finance, 100 Resilient Cities

    MODERATOR:

    Mr. Philip Karp, Lead Knowledge Management Specialist, SURR GP, WBG

    11:00–11:10 Presentation of the Beirut Resilience Strategy

    Ms. Matilda Khoury, Councilor, Municipal Council of Beirut, Lebanon

    11:10–11:30 Coffee Break

    11:30–12:45 Session 2 | Resilience Frameworks for Investment Decisions

    Ms. Elizabeth Yee, Vice President, Resilience Finance, 100 Resilient Cities

    Mr. Sébastien Maire, Chief Resilience Officer, Paris, France

    Mr. Arturo Dominici Arosemena, Chief Resilience Officer, Panama City, Panama

    Ms. Bilge Cakir, Investment Officer, International Finance Corporation (IFC), MENA, WBG

    Dr. Nadim Munla, Adviser to the Prime Minister, Lebanon

    MODERATOR:

    Mr. Josef Leitmann, Lead Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Specialist, Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), WBG

    12:45–13:30 Lunch

    13:30–15:00 Session 3 | Collaboration between Local, National, and International Actors

    Mr. Sujit Kumar Mohanty, Chief of the Arab States Regional Office, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR)

    Mr. Saeed Al-Abbar, Chairman, Green Building Council, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

    Ms. Hart Ford, Director, ACTED, Lebanon

    Mr. Josef Leitmann, Lead DRM Specialist, GFDRR, WBG

    MODERATOR:

    Mr. Sameh Naguib Wahba, Director, SURR GP, WBG

    15:00–15:15 Coffee Break

    15:15–16:30 Session 4 | The Way Forward

    KEYNOTE ADDRESS:

    Ms. Kazuko Ishigaki, Director for Disaster Preparedness, Disaster Management Bureau, Cabinet Office, Japan

    PANELISTS:

    Mr. Jamal Itani, Mayor, Beirut, Lebanon

    Mr. Sameh Naguib Wahba, Director, SURR GP, WBG

    Mr. Sébastien Maire, Chief Resilience Officer, Paris, France

    Mr. Sufyan Al-Issa, Regional Head of Operations, IFC, MENA, WBG

    Ms. Souad Abderrahim, Mayor, Tunis, Tunisia

    MODERATOR:

    Ms. Dana Omran, Managing Director, City Resilience Delivery - Africa, 100 Resilient Cities

    CLOSING REMARKS FOR THE DAY:

    Mr. Jamal Itani, Mayor, Beirut, Lebanon

    Mr. Sameh Naguib Wahba, Director, SURR GP, WBG

    17:00–19:00 Site Visit – Downtown Beirut

    DAY 2: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 3, 2019

    09:00–10:00 Session 5 | City Challenges and Risks

    Ms. Isabel Margarita Cantada, City Scans, WBG

    Dr. Ali Al-Hemoud, Research Scientist, Kuwait Institute of Scientific Research

    Mr. Saeed Al-Abbar, Chairman, Green Building Council, UAE

    Mr. Tony Sfeir, Chief Resilience Officer, Byblos, Lebanon

    MODERATOR:

    Mr. Salim Rouhana, Senior Urban Development Specialist, SURR GP, WBG

    10:00–11:00 Session 6 | Designing, Prioritizing, and Implementing Your Strategy

    Mr. Sébastien Maire, Chief Resilience Officer, Paris, France

    Ms. Ana Ardelean, Chief Resilience Officer, Tbilisi, Georgia

    Mr. Anton Salman, Mayor, Bethlehem, Palestine

    Ms. Dana Omran, Managing Director, City Resilience Delivery - Africa, 100 Resilient Cities

    MODERATOR:

    Mr. Josef Leitmann, Lead DRM Specialist, GFDRR, WBG

    11:00–11:15 Coffee Break

    11:15–12:15 Session 6 (Continued) | Designing, Prioritizing, and Implementing Your Strategy

    Mr. Eric Wilson, Deputy Director, Land Use and Buildings, New York City, United States of America

    Mr. Arturo Dominici Arosemena, Chief Resilience Officer, Panama City, Panama

    Mr. Nabil S. Itani, Project Manager, Cultural Heritage and Urban Development (CHUD) Project, Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR)

    Mr. Josef Leitmann, Lead DRM Specialist, GFDRR, WBG

    MODERATOR:

    Ms. Dana Omran, Managing Director, City Resilience Delivery - Africa, 100 Resilient Cities

    12:15–13:15 Breakout Session: Shift and Share Cities to identify and discuss individual challenges and lessons learned

    MODERATOR:

    Mr. Philip Karp, Lead Knowledge Management Specialist, SURR GP, WBG

    13:15–14:00 Lunch

    14:00–15:30 Session 7 | Financing Urban Resilience

    Mr. Steven Rubinyi, DRM Specialist, WBG

    15:30–15:50 Coffee Break and Cultural Bingo

    15:50–17:30 Session 8 | Social Resilience and Youth

    Ms. Nisreen Alaraj, Chief Resilience Officer, Greater Amman, Jordan

    Mr. Abdullahi Ali Watiin, Mayor, Baidoa, Somalia

    Mr. Saed Zawahrah, Zarqa City Youth Council, Jordan

    Ms. Cynthia Bakkalian, WB Youth Advisory Group, Lebanon

    Mr. Behzad Ali Adam, Deputy Governor, Dohuk Governorate, Iraq/Kurdistan Regional Government

    Ms. Khadije Nasser, Senior Regional Manager, Strong Cities Network

    MODERATOR:

    Ms. Naila Ahmed, Senior Social Development Specialist, WBG


    DAY 3: THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2019

    09:00–10:00 Breakout Session: Shift and Share Cities to identify and discuss resilience challenges and lessons learned

    MODERATOR:

    Mr. Philip Karp, Lead Knowledge Management Specialist, SURR GP, WBG

    10:00–11:00 Session 9A | Water and Agriculture Session 9B | Housing

    Ms. Fatma Aglan, Agricultural Specialist, WBG

    Mr. Ezio Todini, Consultant, WBG

    Ms. Sarah Antos, Data Scientist, Global Program for Resilient Housing, WBG

    Mr. Eric Wilson, Deputy Director, Land Use and Buildings, New York City, USA

    Mr. Hazem Abdelfattah, Senior Urban Development Specialist, WBG

    MODERATOR:

    Mr. Ede Jorge Ijjasz-Vasquez, Senior Director, SURR GP, WBG

    11:00–11:15 Coffee Break

    11:15–12:15 Session 10A | Nature-Based Solutions for City Resilience

    Session 10B | Competitive Cities

    Mr. Denis Jordy, Lead DRM Specialist, WBG

    Mr. Arturo Dominici Arosemena, Chief Resilience Officer, Panama City, Panama

    Mr. Jade Sahlab, Senior Private Sector Specialist, WBG

    Ms. Zina Bdeir Dajani, Founder & CEO, Antwork

    Ms. Amira Solh, Urban and Cultural Heritage Planning Consultant

    Mr. Karim Chaya, Managing Partner, Abillama Chaya Industrial Design

    12:15–12:35 Reporting back

    12:35–13:30 Reflection Session on Technical Communique

    MODERATOR:

    Mr. Josef Leitmann, Lead DRM Specialist, GFDRR, WBG

    13:30–14:30 Presentation of the Technical Communique and Closing of the Conference

    CLOSING REMARKS:

    Mr. Ede Jorge Ijjasz-Vasquez, Senior Director, SURR GP, WBG

    Mr. Saroj Kumar Jha, Regional Director, Mashreq, WBG

    Mr. Jamal Itani, Mayor, Beirut, Lebanon

     

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