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Mar 2021

Cities at risk from global threats

Source: Asia Insurance Review | Nov 2020

Lloyd’s of London has published a new report to help city administrators and risk managers, as well as Lloyd’s market insurers and brokers, understand the risks that will influence the design and function of cities in the coming decades.
The report ‘Cities at risk – building a resilient future for the world’s urban centres,’ makes use of four global trends to analyse the risks affecting cities now, and in the future, and how these threats will affect urban areas.
Published in association with Urban Foresight and Newcastle University the 93-page report was released on 9 October 2020. It provides insight into how risk threats could be reduced and how local authorities and insurers are, and could be, working together to do so.
The report emphasises the role insurance can play in helping municipalities to transfer risks and how insurance data and approaches can help cities back better risk-management decisions overall, said a press release issued by Lloyd’s.
Seven case studies included in the report cover London, New York City, Miami, Mexico City, Johannesburg, Riyadh and Shanghai. These cities have characteristics of other metropolises around the world and are used to demonstrate global issues and cross learning. The case studies also serve as scenarios to understand how specific risks are managed and mitigated at city level.
COVID-19 has focused the world’s attention on the capacity of cities to withstand the impacts of systemic risks such as pandemics, highlighting features that contribute to greater resilience as well as greater vulnerability. COVID-19 has also brought into focus the impacts systemic risks can have on our urban areas, with severe economic and social consequences extending across the world.
Lloyd’s head of innovation Trevor Maynard said, “Lloyd’s can work with cities to help them understand their risks and exposures and the insurance industry plays a big role in helping mitigate these risks and improve their resilience. The Lloyd’s market already has a lot of products meeting the needs of municipalities around the world and we are working on products that target policyholders’ future needs. Nevertheless, there is still a long way to go to develop further interactions between cities and insurers in order to increase collaboration and understanding.”
Urban Foresight head of infrastructure and investment Graham Thrower said, “As cities continue to evolve, their shape and functional performance is being questioned like never before. Recent events have highlighted the importance of our great cities as concentrations of economic, political and social activity. They are also environments in which risks concentrate.” A 
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