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The Road to Resilience: A guide to increasing the resilience of cities

The book is a guide for urban policy makers and planners to increase the resilience of the world's cities, and provides several bottom-up resilience building options for augmenting urban services.
Multiple Authors
Summary of tech


“Road to Resilience” is a guide to increasing the resiience of cities, especially in India but also elsewhere in the world. The book is aimed at urban policy makers and planners and provides bottom-up resilience building options for improving urban services through the conservation of local resources and waste recycling options. It provides solutions based on principles of collaborative management of resources, demand focused end-use as well as subsidiarity to increase autonomy at local scales. On the supply side it offers solutions to increase the resource base through managing, conserving and recycling local resources, and presents 22 technologies that could be use to enhance resilience in urban contexts. On the demand side it provides options for reducing usage of water and energy. Managing natural resources at local scales builds autonomy as well as resilience of the households.

This guide*, by TARU Leading Edge under the initiative of Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN), is the first in a series on the urban challenges we face in the developing world. The second, “Synergy for Sustainable Cities” offers a range of proven, practical actions covering policy, implementation and monitoring systems that can be advanced collectively, and is written for multiple audiences with varying knowledge levels.

The full text (ebook) is available to read online:

The full text is also available to download from the right-hand column. Please note that all rights are reserved, so no part of the publication can be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form, or distributed in reurn for payment, without the written permission of TARU Leading Edge. Please share via the URL for this page or contact Gopalakrishna Bhat for permission.

How to use this book

This book primarily discusses the three main sectors: Water, Energy & Sanitation. Each sector is covered in six parts:

  1. Introduction
  2. Current situation and future scenario
  3. Current issues and future challenges
  4. Where can we make the difference
  5. Adoptable resilience technologies
  6. Household practices for day-to-day life

Explore a book presentation of the “Road to Resilience”:

Road to resilience book presentation from TARU Leading Edge Pvt. Ltd.

Lessons Learnt

From the foreword by Ashvin Dayal, Associate Vice president and Managing Director of the Rockefeller Foundation (pages 10-11 of the full text)

Under the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network, a 9 year effort to build more resilient cities, dozens of cities across India and Asia have been assisted to assess, plan and act on issues such as inadequate water, poor sanitation, heat waves, changing health patterns, poor drainage, flooding, extreme storms and lack of waste disposal in a holistic and integrated manner. Through this effort a number of important lessons have been learned about what is needed to move forward positively. These include:

  • A combination of hard and soft measures: Greater city resilience depends on physical factors, policy, social capital, and institutions – that is on tangibles like infrastructure and housing, as well as intangibles such as knowledge, networks and behaviours.
  • The centrality of the multi-stakeholder process: It is by engaging across different sectors (government, business, civil society and academia) to develop a shared vision and agenda that we have seen the most transformative changes take place.
  • The future is now: while building resilience requires engagement with uncertain, unpredictable shifts in the future, it is essential to offer tangible benefits to people today to gain support and engagement.
  • The importance of leadership and active residents: Efforts are most likely to be accelerated and sustained when you have a combination of strong leadership driving commitment fro above, and active engagement of informed communities and residents demanding action.
  • A focus on vulnerability and poor people: While resilience measures are needed at multiple levels, asking the questions “resilience for who?” is important to ensure that poverty and equity concerns are being kept at the heart of the agenda.
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Suggested Citation

TARU Leading Edge Pvt. Ltd. 2015, Road to Resilience: a guide to leading a resilient life, TLEPL, Ahmedabad


Concepts: Gopalakrishna Bhat C.; Chairman, TARU Leading Edge Pvt. Ltd.

Research and Content: Rajdeep Routh, Dhruma Bhavsar, Samhita Gandhi

Editing: Gopalakrishna Bhat C., Vidhya Moorthi

Illustration and Design: Akshay Vyas, Kalpesh Tudiya


This initiative is supported by The Rockefeller Foundation through Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) programme.

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