ECPD Endorses The ISRM Global Urban Resilience Programme

We are delighted to announce that European Center for Peace and Development has formally endorsed the ISRM Global Urban Resilience Programme.

About ECPD:

The accomplishments of the European Center for Peace and Development (ECPD) during its 25 years of activity – and its plans for the coming period – reflect its intellectual mission as set out in the founding acts of the ECPD. Its mission has remained unchanged: to contribute to peace and development in Europe as the area of the ECPD’s activities, and to international cooperation in the transfer of knowledge, by organizing international postgraduate studies (at the specialist, master’s and doctoral levels) and postgraduate professional training and specialization (postgraduate schools, specialist seminars, instructive and other courses) and research in the relevant scientific fields. The ECPD’s guiding principle has always been: through peace to development, through development to peace.

The ECPD has always operated primarily in Europe, at first in its south-eastern part, with an orientation towards the post-socialist countries that is, countries in transition. Nonetheless, in keeping with its program policy, it has increasingly been open for cooperation with the rest of the world.

The basic premise, upon which the ECPD has based its program orientation and strategy, has been that development under conditions of peace is only possible when conceived as human development.

Professor Ljiljana Markovic (Special Advisor to the Executive Director of the ECPD) writes:

The first decades of the 21st century have been marked by a relentless trend of increasingly frequent and intense strategic ‘surprises’. In the conditions of ‘new (crisis) normality’, crisis management has found itself among the most frequently used terms in the global academic community.

Despite the criticality of the impacts and consequences of these events, many of which have been labelled as ’unprecedented’, there has been a failure to developed a shared awareness of the nature of these events, the approaches that we need to take to prepare for them, and a road map that would allow us as a global community to understand and engage with them in meaningful ways. Above all, we are lacking the development of a set of fundamental principles and procedures that would allow us to create shared capabilities based on the insights of both the academic and practitioner experience.

Every aspect of our social fabric is defined by complexity, whether it is the cities we live in, the critical infrastructures we are dependent on, or the almost unimaginably hyper-connected and hyper-dependent systems that rule every aspect of our lives (even if they do so without our awareness or understanding). It is the nature of this systemic hyper-complexity that has created the urgent need to reconsider both the broader contextual framework of strategic risk and crisis management, but also the practical and applied approaches to crisis management that would allow us to model and engage with the risks and threats that the world is currently facing on a viable and sustainable basis.

The inherently dynamic and unstable nature of the global changes that we are seeing creates an alarmingly high degree of uncertainty and unpredictability. These paradigm shifts have created a reality where the concept of urban resilience is emerging as one of the central and most critical issues of our times. The growing ‘chaotic potential’ of modern crises leads to the urgent need to reconsider traditional security and risk management frameworks, and to develop theories and models, and even language and metaphor, that can adequately describe the risks that we are facing.

The European Centre for Peace and Development is dedicated to creating a space where trans-disciplinary academic research and insight can support policy development and practitioner impact, and as such we are delighted to have developed a close working relationship with the Institute of Strategic Risk Management. We strongly believe that the collaboration between our two organisations, plus others involved in this initiative, will have a real impact in developing both a theoretical understanding and a range of practical guidelines that can be used to support similar initiatives around the world.

If the nature of the problems that we are facing is complex and hyper-connected, then the solutions we offer must combine global vision with local impact. It is our belief that this Global Urban Resilience initiative will make a significant contribution to that dialogue and on-going efforts, and we are delighted to offer it our support and participation.