NSW Department of Planning and Environment

Resilience planning

The NSW Government is seeking to create greater resilience in our communities through the planning system.

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.

Resilient Cities Network defines ‘resilience’ as:

The capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses, and systems within a city to survive, adapt, and grow 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 slow moving disasters or challenges that weaken the community on a day-to-day basis or a cyclical basis such as, food and water shortages, climate change, lack of affordable housing and pandemics.

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

  • natural hazards (heatwaves, bushfires, floods, extreme weather)
  • coastal hazards
  • disease outbreaks
  • infrastructure failure.

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

The department is developing a number of tools and guides that will ensure that the NSW government can continue to support the creation of more resilient places and communities.

Resilience outcomes for the planning system

The ‘Resilience outcomes for the planning system’ report outlines what ‘resilience’ means in the NSW planning system, defines resilience and provides an overview of resilience considerations including the key shocks and stresses that places and communities across NSW may face.

Resilience for the planning system focuses on identifying a set of values (through resilience outcomes), tailored to the role that the planning system plays in building resilient people, places and communities.

The report introduces 7 resilience outcomes, linked to relevant United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that show alignment between the global goals, and how resilience will be embedded within the NSW planning system.

The report will support and guide current and future resilience related work for the department.

Read the report

More information

For more information about resilience planning email resilience.planning@planning.nsw.gov.au.

Page last updated: 17/01/2023