fbpx Resilient Cities, Driving Growth | Asian Development Bank
ADB Seminar

Resilient Cities, Driving Growth

Saturday, 6 May 2017, 2:30 pm–4:00 pm, Conference Center, Room 501

Welcome Remarks

Eriko YakushijiDirector General of the Urban Development Bureau, City of Yokohama

Ms. Yakushiji is director general of the Urban Development Bureau of the City of Yokohama. She first joined the city in 1983 and has held a number of positions such as executive director of city center development and Minato Mira 21 promotion in 2008, executive director of policy of urban management and planning in 2009, and executive director of co-governance and creation in 2011. Prior to her current role, she was director general of Seya Ward. Ms. Yakushuji received her civil engineering degree from Kyoto University.


Stephen BriggsSenior Advisor, Earth Observation, European Space Agency

Stephen Briggs is currently senior adviser in the Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes, European Space Agency, with responsibility for future earth observation strategy and, particularly, relations to external bodies. He is, since 2014, chair of the Global Climate Observing System Steering Committee. He is the chair of the Strategic Implementation Team of the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites, and is ad hominem senior adviser to the Chinese National Remote Sensing Programme. He also serves on the Advisory Board of the Global Terrestrial Network – Glaciers.

Ashvin DayalAssociate Vice President and Managing Director, The Rockefeller Foundation, Asia Office

Ashvin Dayal manages the Rockefeller Foundation’s investment across Asia, including its Smart Power for Rural Development initiative aimed at scaling up decentralized renewable energy solutions for off-grid rural communities. He led the recently-concluded Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network, a pioneering nine-year investment by the foundation to catalyze the field of urban climate change resilience. As associate vice president, Mr. Dayal also oversees the advancement of the foundation’s global strategic goals of building greater resilience and advancing more inclusive economies.

Henk OvinkSpecial Envoy for International Water Affairs, The Netherlands

Henk Ovink was appointed by the Dutch Cabinet as the first special envoy for international water affairs in 2015. He is responsible for advocating water awareness around the world, focusing on building institutional capacity and coalitions among governments, multilateral organizations, private sector, and NGOs. Mr. Ovink is also sherpa to the UN/World Bank High Level Panel on Water. Mr. Ovink is principal for Rebuild by Design and was director general for planning and water Affairs and director for national spatial planning in The Netherlands.

Ir. H. Mohammad Ramdhan PomantoMayor, Makassar City, Indonesia

Ir. H. Mohammad Ramdhan Pomanto has been the mayor of Makassar City in Indonesia since May 2014. Trained as an architect, Mayor Pomanto was lecturer at the Department of Architecture, University of Hasanuddin and is known for his work on designing the floating mosque in Makassar. He has led the implementation of various national projects, including the development of the Gulf of Pacitan, development of Morotai Island, and development of islands in the border area.

Vincent QuahBusiness Development Lead, Asia Pacific Japan - Education, Research, and Not-For-Profit, Amazon Web Services

Mr. Quah has more than 25 years of experience working in the education (K12 and tertiary), high performance computing, life science, e-learning, and healthcare industries. From an IT perspective, he has held roles in content development, project management, consulting, solution development, sales, business development, operations management, marketing, and programs management. Beyond that, Mr. Quah has worked with major multinational corporations, primarily focused in the education and research industry and have led successful teams to deliver strong business outcomes.


Bambang SusantonoVice-President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development, ADB

Bambang Susantono is the vice president for knowledge management and sustainable development of ADB, responsible for the Departments of Sustainable Development and Climate Change, Economic Research and Regional Cooperation, and External Relations. He was vice-minister of Indonesia’s Ministry of Transportation and deputy minister for infrastructure and regional development. He holds a PhD in infrastructure planning and master’s degrees in transportation engineering as well as city and regional planning from the University of California, Berkeley, United States, and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the Bandung Institute of Technology, Indonesia.

Seminar Summary

Urban areas in Asia and the Pacific are growing rapidly, requiring cities to manage a host of interconnected challenges related to inequality, infrastructure financing, urban services provision, environmental degradation, and improved governance. Additionally, these cities need to remain competitive and stay ahead of emerging trends—like increased climate-related shocks and stresses or fast evolving technologies. In fact, if cities want to improve the quality of life for its citizens, they must change the way current development is taking place, and adopt a resilience approach.

The seminar discussed the five key themes required to operationalize resilience principles in ways that can drive inclusive urban growth. These five themes include: the role of water for strengthening urban resilience, treating cities as dynamic systems, strengthening engagement with the private sector, enhancing local institutions and capacity, and increased use of technology for inclusive solutions. Examples were given of how cities in Asia and the Pacific and in various regions are dealing with these themes.

The discussions highlighted how cities are adopting long-term vision and strategy for strengthening resilience. The panel also discussed the opportunities provided by satellite information and data in understanding and assessing future risks, and how cities are harnessing technology, including e-commerce and cloud computing to improve their resilience. The discussions also highlighted the critical role of the private sector and in making data available for analytics and public use. Panelists also stressed the importance of access to open source information for research and development.