Paris has long been a global icon and center for economic and cultural activity. The City currently points the way towards innovative urban planning, mitigation and adaptation to climate change. Plenty of steps carried out in Paris already participate to the resilience of the City, as cross-cutting strategies to fight against global warming, improve Smart City, fight against situations of major social exclusion, etc.

In Paris, natural disaster such as the flooding of the Seine River or a severe heat wave could have serious consequences. The heat wave of 2003 caused several deaths among elderly Parisians. In the Île-de-France region 83 0000 inhabitants live in flood zone and other 2 million could be affected by power cut if a major flood occurred. 

Paris is also facing other challenges that were identified during the first phase of the strategy through workshops, surveys and interviews. These methods helped defining the main strengths and weaknesses, the nature of shocks and chronic stresses of the city and its current ability to face them.

The main challenges identified for Paris are:

To reduce inequalities (social, economic, cultural, territorial) and enhance social cohesion to reinforce resilience capacity in case of a crisis but also for the daily life;

To reduce air pollution, first sanitary stress of the Metropolis;

To provide a new vision of the Seine River and deal with three related risks: flood, low water and the rarefaction of the resource and the necessity to improve its quality;

To enhance the capacity of the city to deal with terrorist attacks;

To improve territorial governance in order to foster resilience;

To integrate in all public policies the topic of climate change adaptation and mitigation.

From autumn 2016 Paris started the second phase of the process which will highlight the ongoing efforts to improve resilience and offer new actions and goals for the city. Hence, the city explores the following items: “resilient technical and natural infrastructure”, “an inclusive city for a more resilient population”, “governing the city through the lens of resilience”, “air quality as an engine for urban development”, “the Seine River as a lever for resilience”.

Shocks and Stresses

  • Displaced Populations / Migrants
  • Environmental Degradation
  • Extreme Heat
  • Homelessness
  • Infrastructure Failure
  • Lack of Affordable Housing
  • Rainfall Flooding
  • Terrorist Attack

Meet The Chief Resilience Officer

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Sébastien Maire is the Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Paris.

An expert in local authorities management, he has been both an elected official (deputy-mayor of a city in eastern France in charge of university and international cooperation) and an administrative director in other French municipalities for economic and local development. From 2008 to 2014, he managed many crises, especially social ones, as the Mayor's chief of staff for an important and poor city of Paris' suburb. Sébastien holds a Master's degree in Innovation Management in Public Organizations and Policies. He specialises in sustainable development and urbanism, and social crisis management with a focus on municipalities. As Paris CRO, he has been building the city resilience strategy with a wide panel of stakeholders, in two main directions; the first explores how to strengthen social cohesion in the face of crises, especially terrorist attacks, and the second explores how to adapt middle and long-term urban planning to face global warming consequences.

Snapshot of Paris

  • 2,249,980

    population as of 2011

Around the World

Explore cities facing similar resilience challenges to Paris.

  • Displaced Populations / Migrants
  • Environmental Degradation
  • Extreme Heat
  • Homelessness
  • Infrastructure Failure
  • Lack of Affordable Housing
  • Rainfall Flooding
  • Terrorist Attack
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