Currently, more than half of the world's population lives in urban areas. Urban settlements are the lifeline of society, acting as the economic engine of the nation and as the tangible example of our cultural heritage. The development of most cities has been driven by socioeconomic factors. This urbanization results in a deficiency of basic urban infrastructure, and therefore renders cities vulnerable to different degrees.
On the other hand, industrial complexes, on their own initiative or by legal requirements, have developed vulnerability analysis and risk management systems. These systems (such as Seveso II Regulations, OSHA Standards and ISO Standards) incorporate a wealth of experience and are very reliable.
Under these premises, a methodology called HAZUR (Urban Hazards Analyses) has been developed to assess Urban Resilience, based upon equivalent procedures applied in industrial environments. It is a combination of tools used in Strategic Analysis, Risk Analysis, and Response Analysis.
This paper explains how in 2007 IQS designed a confidential project to improve urban resilience in Barcelona (Project 3Ss), driven by the transport, water and electricity crises of 2006-2007, and further developed it by mobilizing more than 70 executives and managers from 36 companies and city services. The knowledge IQS obtained has served to open a line of research and services for cities, implemented by the company OptiCits – IQS, which developed the technical aspects of the resilience assessment methodology HAZUR® using as a pilot project a small mountain town: Tremp (Catalan Pyrenees).
This work has opened the door to a real application of the concept of smart urban services, laying the foundation for managing resilience based on KPI Indicators (Key Performance Indicators) and seeking solutions based on TICs (Information and Communication Techniques).