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NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
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What is resilience? 

Consideration of broad resilience includes acknowledging a variety of shocks and stresses, including natural hazard risk management, emergency management, climate change and adaptation, human health and social wellbeing, and environmental management. The NSW Government uses the following definition from the Resilient Cities Network and the 100 Resilient Cities initiative for resilience: 


Resilience is the capacity of individuals, communities, businesses and systems within a city to survive, adapt and thrive no matter what kinds of chronic stresses and acute shocks they experience.


Planning for resilient communities

The land use planning system plays an important role in creating places and communities that are more resilient to chronic stresses and episodic shocks.  


Chronic stresses are regular or cyclical events that over time diminish a place, community or local environment, such as: 

  • food and water shortages 
  • climate change 
  • lack of affordable housing 
  • pandemics. 


Episodic shocks are sudden, short-term events that threaten a community, such as: 

  • natural hazards (heatwaves, bushfires, floods, extreme weather) and coastal hazards  
  • disease outbreaks 
  • cyber-attacks. 


Across NSW there are numerous shocks and stresses that may be experienced by communities, which can combine to result in cumulative risk. Effective planning can reduce the exposure to natural and urban hazards and build resilience to shocks and stresses. 


The Department of Planning, Industry & Environment is developing a number of tools and guides that will ensure that the NSW government can continue to support and create resilient places and communities. 

Page last updated: 29/04/2021