Assessing territorial resilience

Resilience builds on the capacity to understand situations and anticipate their consequences by demonstrating some common sense and employing innovative strategies and solutions, whether it be on the scale of a territory or a building, to deal with the lasting consequences of climate change or more transient ones after hazardous events, such as sports and cultural events, industrial actions, system failures, accidents, etc
Photo of a flooded street

AREP Group is a global, multidisciplinary practice bringing together urban planners, architects, engineers, economists and designers carrying out studies and managing complex planning and construction projects. Drawing on our long-standing experience in designing spaces for cities on the move (railway stations, interchange hubs), we have expanded our expertise in complex urban projects (public buildings, retail and services) as well as the planning of large urban areas in France and abroad.

This hybrid expertise along with our ability to operate on every scale are key to our capacity to deploy strategies and solutions fostering resilient projects in accordance with the Sustainable Development Policy of the company: it’s all about devising resilient mobility-related spaces (both buildings and public open spaces) which contribute to the creation of a sustainable city.

Regarding the consequences of climate change, it is now established that temperature will rise by at least 2°C by the end of the century due to the increased concentration of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.

In a context of dwindling financial resources, the fight against natural disasters should not rely exclusively on costly, high-maintenance infrastructure whose effectiveness is limited within a given risk exposure level. We need to change radically our way to consider risk and incorporate ex-ante risk management in territorial organization in order to conceive cities capable to withstand crisis situations.

AREP Environment builds its expertise on a clear vision, whatever the scale of the project (large metropolitan areas, cities, neighbourhoods, urban blocks, buildings): Being resistant in the face of the causes but resilient in the face of the impact when it comes to climate change.

Our work with the CORFU[1] European project between 2010 and 2014 demonstrates our commitment. More precisely, we focused on enhancing territory resilience when it comes to the most frequent and most costly natural hazard: flooding.

CORFU is a four-year research project funded by the European Union. Its overall aim is to develop complementary strategies helping Asian and European cities improve their resilience to flooding. Flood risk management should be considered as a key component of the design process on the scale of both contemporary urban morphology and building.

Within this context, AREP Group in partnership with the University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis coordinated the fourth work package, which consisted in proposing a flood resilience index (FRI).



Proposal for a flood resilience index (FRI) | (c) AREP
  • Preparing a review of urban planning projects and good practices regarding flood risk management and structural and non-structural prevention measures.
  • Identifying metropolitan functions and services to be preserved and restored in priority during and after a flood event.
  • Devising tools which could guide public authorities through the process of incorporating flood risk into their policies (assessment, current resilience index, desired level, implementation of adequate strategies).




We have assessed eight Asian and European metropolises (Barcelona, Hamburg, Nice, Beijing, Dhaka, Mumbai, Incheon and Taipei) providing a wide range of topographic features, urban typologies, governance and vulnerability levels.



[1] COllaborative Research on Flood resilience in Urban areas is a project bringing together 17 partners from 10 countries.