Smart Cities

Resilience Technologies for Smarter Cities

Overview Natural disasters, infectious disease outbreaks and social unrest can threaten the fabric of cultures and economies worldwide. Enhancing resilience — the technologies that keep the world healthy, safe, warm powered, fed and secure — is vital for communities to survive and adapt to disasters.

“As we have witnessed over the past several years of catastrophic hurricanes and wildfires, disasters can take a toll on our way of life,” said Dr. Daniel Kaniewski, deputy administrator for resilience at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

“It’s critical that we use innovative solutions to make our nation more resilient.”

Community leaders and government organizations, like FEMA and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), realize the need to shift from disaster response and recovery to disaster planning.

“With the increase in availability and technology advancements in sensors, devices and analytics, cities now have more tools to improve services, reduce costs and serve as living labs for innovative growth,” said Andrew Hentz, deputy undersecretary (acting) at the DHS Science and Technology Directorate.

Enhancing Resilience with Technology

Technology can generate new methods of recovery so community leaders and government officials can effectively prepare for natural disasters.


Technologies like artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and machine learning harvest vast amount of data. City leaders can mobilize this data into proactive solutions to existing vulnerabilities.
Live mapping, for example, can expedite the deployment of response systems. Once enacted, city planners can use this data to build stronger buildings and more resilient infrastructure.


Enhanced networks can hasten emergency response time and create open communication channels between cities and citizens. Although information typically flows vertically during an emergency, from government and city leaders to affected citizens, open networks encourage lateral communication.

The growth of actual smart cities depends on connecting the private and public sectors.

“Our federal, state and local customers need safe, reliable and secure tools to adapt and respond to changing environments and emergencies, and to drive down risk and provide flexibility for unintended consequences,” Kaniewski said.

Learn more about disaster preparedness and recovery in the full report How Technology Boosts Resilience and Enables Smarter Cities.

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