City Resilience is the capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses, and systems within a city to survive, adapt, and grow no matter what kinds of chronic stresses and acute shocks they experience.
About 100 Resilient Cities 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) is dedicated to helping cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. 100RC supports the adoption and incorporation of a view of resilience that includes not just the shocks – earthquakes, fires, floods, etc. – but also the stresses that weaken the fabric of a city on a day to day or cyclical basis. By addressing both the shocks and the stresses, a city becomes more able to respond to adverse events, and is overall better able to deliver basic functions in both good times and bad, to all populations.
The City Resilience Framework provides a lens through which the complexity of cities and the numerous factors that contribute to a city’s resilience can be understood. It comprises 4 dimensions and 12 key drivers.
Byblos is known to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world;
a Phoenician city, inhabited since Neolithic times with evidence of human settlements
dating back more than 7,000 years. As such, the city is already a testament to resilience.
We want to embrace our challenges, and build resilience to maintain the city’s existence for the next 7,000 years.
Ancient Byblos was a major port, trade hub and center of learning; the founding of the modern alphabet by the
Phoenicians earned the city its name - Byblos – which comes from the Greek for papyrus. Modern Byblos – or Jbeil
– retains a strong sense of its heritage; home to the internationally distinguished Lebanese American University
(LAU) and renowned for its diversity of cultural and religious traditions. The city has been recognized as a
UNESCO World Heritage site since 1984.
Despite a long and destructive civil war in Lebanon (1975-1991), the city of Byblos has remained largely unaffected by unrest in other parts of the country. Then as now, the city is proud of its long tradition of multi-faith tolerance and ethnic coexistence. In the wake of current conflicts in nearby Syria and Iraq, efforts are now underway to ensure that the pressures placed upon the city’s services by an influx of refugees and migrants do not negatively affect the peacefulness and tolerance that have characterized the city for so long, but become an opportunity for the city in the future. Challenging events such as these should not damage the city’s image as open, tolerant and diverse. Among others, these factors provide a contextual underpinning to the development of the resilience strategy.
We have already successfully implemented many initiatives to develop our city’s resilience, taking advantage of opportunities and partnerships on the national and international levels. We will build on these positive beginnings as we take forward our strategy for resilience through to 2030.
BY HONORING THE PAST and ADAPTING TO THE FUTURE, BYBLOS WILL DYNAMICALLY EMBRACE ITS HERITAGE WITH INNOVATION AND BUILD ON ITS DIVERSITY TO BECOME A PIONEER CITY IN THE MEDITERRANEAN, WHICH IS A DESTINATION FOR CULTURAL EXPLORATION AND FUN.
Byblos is a coastal city vulnerable to numerous shocks and stresses – physical, environmental, economic, societal and political – that will affect the city’s assets. Over the last few years, the city has been implementing actions to mitigate our known risks. Now, in the face of additional challenges facing our city, country and region, we need to do more.
A fragmented city is not a resilient city
Loss of customs, traditional businesses and know-hows threaten our city’s heritage
Byblos selected to join the first 33 cities in the 100 Resilient Cities program.
Agenda Setting Workshop
Agenda Setting Workshop represented the first significant opportunity for 100 Resilience Cities to engage the Byblos municipal government and key stakeholders following the city's selection. The workshop primary function was to start a dialogue between 100 Resilient Cities and key stakeholders on Byblos' resilience context, shocks and stresses and interdependencies. Stakeholders included Byblos Municipal Council leader, government ministries, police, NGOs, academic institutions, and civic societies.
Strategy launch and Chief
Resilience Officer appointment
The launch was held at the Cultural Center in Byblos, bringing together city stakeholders from the municipal government, private sector, academia and civil society. The objective of the launch was to introduce the resilience strategy development process and publicly launch the strategy by the Mayor of Byblos.
City Context developed
This includes the following activities: city asset scan, city profile, shocks and stresses review, stakeholder perception review, city action inventory, and gaps and opportunities assessment
Identification of Focus Areas
Five key themes and focus areas emerged from the PRA; these illustrate the priority areas of focus for the resilient strategy:
Preliminary Resilience Assessment (PRA)
Designed to establish the city’s immediate and long term resilience challenges; evaluate existing capacity for responding to the known and emerging shocks and chronic stresses facing the city; and identify Focus Areas for further investigation during PhaseïII. 67ïstakeholders were engaged in the process.
Resilience Diagnostic and Assessment
To better understand the physical, social and economic risks facing Byblos, we carried out a Resilience Diagnostic where we have developed diagnostic questions to further research our Focus Areas to identify opportunities that the city can take to improve its resilience. The group of all the opportunities is the Field of Opportunities.
Field of Opportunity and Resilience Lens
To prioritize the Field of Opportunities using the Resilience Lens, to a list of resilience building actions.
Development of City Resilience Strategy
To develop an integrated strategy that underpins the city’s vision, goals, and actions.
The strategy comprises the work that the city team has done to date. The strategy sets out the vision for our city, the challenges, the strategic pillars, goals and actions to pursue and achieve this vision. We believe that local ownership of the strategy is critical to its long-term adoption and success.
To guarantee that outcome, we’ve made sure to include city stakeholders from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds including the municipality, private sector, academic community and NGOs. Phase I of the strategy process aimed to produce a vision for resilient Byblos based on assessments of the current state of resilience in Byblos and the challenges and opportunities facing the city.
Working with our academic partners from LAU, alongside stakeholders from the Advisory Group, and a range of other public and private sector groups. We explored how current and future shocks and stresses could affect the city and identified which assets are already providing resilience as well as those in need of strengthening. At the end of Phase I, we identified 5 Focus Areas which went on to form the basis of the final Resilience Strategy. In Phase II, we delved more deeply into the opportunities identified in Phase I, using the Resilience Lens tool to prioritize opportunities based on how, and to what extent they contribute to resilience over the short and longer terms. From this we produced a number of actions to be carried forward and practically implemented – these are the main output of the strategy document.
OUR CITY WILL BE
Ziad Hawat, Byblos Mayor
Tony Sfeir, Byblos CRO
Tania Kallab, Byblos Deputy CRO
Zaher Abi Ghosn, Municipality of Byblos
Ayoub Bark, Municipality of Byblos
Anthony Sfeir, Technical Advisor
Roula Haidar, Socio-economic consultant
Allen Saad, Intern
Wissam Zaarour, Municipality of Byblos
Martine Francis Allouch, Directorate General of Antiquities
José Madrigual, Architect
Alexi Krim, Byblos Sur Mer
Elie Bassil, Electricité de Jbeil
Frederich Eber Foundation
Rita Chidiac, JTI
Elsy Ibrahim, Notre Dame University
Lebanese American University
Notre Dame University
Michael Berkowitz, 100RC President
Bryna Lipper, Vice President of City Relationships
Cristiana Fragola, Regional Director for Europe and Middle East
Scott Rosenstein, Relationship Manager
EcoConsulting: Maya Karkour, Jamal Srouji, William Abdallah
theOtherDada: Adib Dada, May Khalifeh, Yasmina Choueiri
Sarah Lily Yassine
Michel Haessler, Arup