Urban Master Planning Megacities:
Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Management


This project strives to fill gaps in supporting local actors to address DRR principles and practices within their day-to-day local governance and development functions. The project focuses on disaster risk management tools and methods appropriate to city-level implementation; delivering specialized training to enhance the technical skills and confidence in local planners, managers and professionals; and raising standards of practice at the local level.

To better promote awareness and track progress in urban risk reduction, a key focus has been the piloting of a collaborative process for establishing urban risk indicators with the municipal government and key stakeholders in Istanbul. In addition a city-to-city sharing program launched at the Americas Megacities Forum 2007 has been developed as a mechanism to directly involve city officials and practitioners in validating, demonstrating, and adopting sound DRR practices through peer-to-peer sharing. EMI has also developed a new course on City-level Disaster Management Organization and Operations and formalized partnerships with local government organizations (LGOs) to support their active role to promote DRR among city managers and policy makers.


The project is intended to provide practical, proven risk communication / management tools for converting risk identification information to risk management action in megacities through a structured methodology of engaging local governments, institutions, and stakeholders. This integrated master planning approach will be piloted in Metro Manila, Mumbai, Kathmandu, and Quito.

Building on activities of the EMI Cluster Cities and 3cd programmes (see these headings on the EMI website for more information), Phase 1 of the project focused on two core areas with pilot activities in Metro Manila, Mumbai, Kathmandu, and Quito:

  1. Formulation of an operational framework and an agenda for a Global Forum for Urban and Megacities Disaster Risk Reduction.
  2. Testing and adoption of model Disaster Risk Management Master Plans (DRMMP) as a systematic approach for mainstreaming disaster risk management of megacities.

Specific objectives for the current project include:

  • Complete the development and testing of the specialized training tools that EMI has been developing -- MEGA-Plan (Urban Planning), MEGA-Index (Megacities Indicators) and MEGA-Learn (e-learning platform).
  • Continue the cataloguing and documenting of megacities disaster reduction practices, focusing particularly on cities such as Istanbul and other cities and sources, which can provide case studies and documentation that furthers the implementation of DRR at the local level.
  • Reinforce network of knowledge validation, demonstration, promotion and sharing using regional forums of city officials, managers and partners and peer-to-peer exchanges for promoting evidence-based DRR.
  • Develop knowledge delivery mechanisms that enable scaling up (and cascading down) knowledge access through the empowerment of local government organizations (e.g., UCLG, ICLEI, METROPOLIS and CityNet).
  • Develop and pilot test of a new e-learning training module on City-Level Disaster Management Organization and Operations (MEGA-Safe).
  • Establish the framework for a professional certification program (“Urban Disaster Risk Management Specialist”) with partners such as WBI, UNDP/BCPR and the Secretariat of the ISDR.

Outputs & events

Key outputs from the initial phase of the project have included the following:

The collective contribution of the project partners in the current phase is expected to accomplish the following results:

  • An effective learning tool that provides local land use planners and planning staff sufficient understanding of disaster risk assessment as a basis of a risk-sensitive land use planning decision.
  • A risk reduction and disaster risk management monitoring tool designed specifically for city governments.
  • A larger pool of knowledge, case studies, policy briefs, and references to available local planners, practitioners, policy makers, and advocates.
  • A pool of city governments that are actively involved in the implementation of DRR and that promote its benefits through demonstrated evidence.
  • The establishment of a global mechanism of certification of “urban disaster risk management specialists”.
  • The strengthening of partnerships for urban DRR, including the support for the Global Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction and more active engagement of local government organizations and professional organizations in the delivery of training courses and in the awareness raising and capacity building programs.

Complementing ProVention's Tools for mainstreaming risk reduction project, one of the expected outcomes from this project with EMI is the production of a set of guidance notes relating specifically to mainstreaming risk reduction into the urban master planning process. These guidance notes will target city planners, municipal officials, and community organisations which participate in the urban planning process and will parallel the guidance notes being produced in the other ProVention project which target development policy-makers, planners, and decision-makers.

Next Steps