Sample Essay Paper on Resilient City

Resilient City

San Francisco

San Francisco is the number one ranked city in the United States in terms of resilience. The city has experienced many natural calamities in the past including earthquakes and fires thus making the city management and the developers to come up with ways for the community to bounce back after such menace. City resilience refers to the ability of the people, the community, businesses, and systems within the city to survive and thrive even in the midst of crisis. A resilient city is one that has a backup plan to enable its resources to continue growing and operate normally after a disaster. The choice for this city was influenced by the fact that it is one of the most hit by natural catastrophes and yet it remains to be one of the leading cities in terms of business growth (Zimmermann 34). San Francisco experiences many tourism activities aided by the multiple numbers of transport systems within the city. Due to increased tourism activities, business people and entrepreneurs find san Francisco an idea business location. As such, the city must have a strong resilient plan to ensure that even with the worst calamity, business are able to operate normally, and people still feel at home in San Francisco.

As mentioned earlier, San Francisco is quite prone to earthquakes and city fires. Therefore, climatic changes have great impacts for the city thus calling for more commitment among the city management to ensure enough capacity for the city to thrive in adverse conditions. Climatic changes cannot be easily controlled. Therefore, for San Francisco to manage its capability to withstand such issues there must be a good planning, first to reduce the impacts of such occurrences and secondly to bounce back once the set prevention mechanism fail. Some of the prevention mechanisms that the city can establish to reduce the effects of natural calamities such as earthquakes include having strong constructions both for public and private use. Having strong buildings can help reduce the amount of resources lost during an earthquake. Additionally, San Francisco must have a backup plan to rebuild the broken systems as fast as possible to allow smooth running of the city. The city is a business hub with majority of investors being outsiders. Therefore, if business people suspect that the city is not able to bounce back from a calamity within even weeks, they might take business elsewhere (Zimmermann 71).

The resilience of a city lies within the ability of the city management to plan. So far, San Francisco has been able to pick up from the last earthquake situation but that should be a lesson to the city management that the worst can happen anytime hence the need for constant preparedness. The management of the city has established building standards to ensure the ability of buildings to withstand natural occurrences like earthquakes. The standards include building occupancy programs that enable engineers to effectively assess the re-occupancy of a building after an earthquakes. Additionally, the city prohibits soft-story wood frame structures as they are considered the most dangerous to human life. However, there is still much to do in ensuring the safety and the ability of the community to thrive in such situations. Continuing business as usual in the city can be detrimental to the economic, social, and political life of San Francisco. San Francisco depends on products outside the city for the survival of its people and the businesses. In the case of an earthquake without a good backup plan, the city can simply be crippled due to lack of supplies. Without the daily supplies, people can starve as well as lack the necessary medical and healthcare (Mahriyar and Rho 42). This is because according to the current city manifest; an earthquake can easily destroy all transportation systems in San Francisco. Economically, the city can lose its fame in tourism and other business activities if the city is not able to rise above the challenges of everyday life. Moist of the business people in the city have other businesses elsewhere and it is the duty of the city management t show these executives while it I ideal to do business in San Francisco by improving the city’s resilience level.

The sustainability of the surroundings and its ability to withstand stress determines the general resilience of the city. The city can embrace the use of new technology to improve the stability of the built environment. For instance, there are many alternative sources of energy than a city can make use of in case the normal supply is not in any position to serve the community. The local government can come up with ways that allow entrepreneurs and developers freedom of operations to ensure that the city benefits from the technological provisions in building its resilience. Again, the city can establish a height limit on buildings to reduce the effects of earthquakes, and fires once they strike. Overcrowding is another issue that can magnify the effects of a calamity in San Francisco; therefore, to ensure the ability of the community to thrive is natural disasters, the city must ensure a population limit in every corner of the city (Mahriyar and Rho 45). Lastly, there should be a standard that every building whether private of public must adhere to for effectiveness and efficiency in the management of the built environment.

The transport system is the most vulnerable in San Francisco yet it sustains daily operations in the city. The management has already made some reforms on the bridges, but more needs to be done to make all the bridges resistible to earthquakes by making them flexible. All the bridges should be made in such a way that they could easily stretch and deform without breaking. This will ensure that transportation of necessary materials for the city running is delivered in time even during calamities. Additionally, the roads and the connectivity systems within the transport system can be made in a way that allows easy and quick fixing even after a disaster to enable the efficiency of the city to bounce back to normal operations. The city management can come up with an emergency fleet system where vehicles are kept standby to help in every transportation issue in the case of an emergency. The city of San Francisco should abandon the use of line connectivity and embrace an interconnected system like the one used in most European countries (Mahriyar and Rho 48).

San Francisco has a resilience plan in place; however, to ensure effectiveness of the same the management of the city should focus on five key issues. First, there is a need for constant learning to acquire more information about the best ways to overcome challenges as a city. Secondly, the city should be organized in a way to allow rapid rebound. Thirdly, the plan should ensure enough flexibility for both the people and the systems. Fourthly, the city should close all the loopholes and ensure that chances of failure are limited and fifthly, the city should have a backup plan in case of a failure.




Mahriyar, Muhammad, and Rho, Jeong. “The compact city concept in creating resilient city and         transportation system in Surabaya.” Procedia-social and behavioral science, 135.14     (2014): 41-49. Print.

Zimmermann, Konrad. Resilient cities 2 cities and adaptation to climate change, proceedings of            the Global Forum 2011. Dordrecht New York: Springer, 2012. Print.