Channel 1 Los Angeles
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today set out what the capital needs to do to remain resilient and prepared for future challenges including Brexit, climate change, and keeping the city safe.
City Hall has published the first-ever London City Resilience Strategy, setting out the unprecedented challenges facing the capital, how to avert a crisis before it happens, and how London can be best prepared to recover quickly in the aftermath of an emergency.
The strategy has been developed as part of the global 100 Resilient Cities Project and highlights new threats to the city’s safety and stability, including the impact of climate change and extreme weather events that lead to flooding and drought. Heatwaves put pressure on the city’s transport and electrical infrastructure, making it more vulnerable, and pose a threat to life for those more susceptible to extreme heat.
The report also looks at the potential impact of Brexit on London’s communities and businesses, including possible disruption to trade and food supply chains, as well as the availability of workers across a number of sectors including the National Health Service.
The new strategy highlights the impact long-term chronic stress that austerity has put on the city, hitting key public services such as the police and NHS. Nearly a decade of cuts has left London’s vulnerable communities less able to cope with disruption, creating further social exclusion, and narrowing opportunities to maintain health and wellbeing.
To ensure the capital remains resilient, the Mayor’s strategy sets out how London needs to prepare itself for future events. For example, City Hall will work with the British Red Cross, the NHS and local authorities to increase access to first-aid training for Londoners. As members of the public are frequently first on the scene in the event of an emergency, before the arrival of emergency services, assistance from Londoners has proved to be a vital resource.
In addition City Hall will review the impact on London’s food system from potential disruption during Brexit and work with the Government and local authorities to improve the capital’s food resilience, by increasing food growing in London and providing support to vulnerable Londoners.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “In times of adversity, Londoners always pull together to overcome hate and hardship and bounce back stronger and more united than ever. But in the face of unprecedented challenges – such as climate change, the growing threat of cyber-attacks and Brexit – it is vital that we continue to adapt and change to safeguard our city, our communities and the progressive values that bind us together. The approach set out in my new Resilience Strategy shows how we can put the capital on the right footing to reduce the likelihood of emergencies happening in the first place, and to help all Londoners cope with and recover from external shocks – making our city safer and our economy stronger.”
Deputy Mayor for Fire and Resilience, Fiona Twycross said: “Building resilience in London is about the ability of all Londoners, our businesses and our communities to survive and thrive no matter what kinds of changes or crisis we as a city experience. The capital has well rehearsed responses to major incidents, which have been used to life-saving effect at some terrible events in the past few years, but this new strategy is about addressing the long-term and ever-changing challenges facing London. It’s crucial we have in place the most robust emergency plans to help the whole city flourish.”