SEADS 2023 Thematic Session

Designing Resilient and Net-Zero Cities of Tomorrow

Organizers: Asian Development Bank and Arup
30 March • 14:00 – 15:30 GMT+8/ Bali Local Time


  • Bruce Chong, Director and Climate and Urban Sustainability Leader, Arup
  • Joris van Etten, Principal Portfolio Management Specialist, ADB
  • Susan Potgieter, Director, Business Incubation and Ecosystems, Strategic Management Office, APAC, Hitachi
  • Linh Le, Global Lead, Smart City Competency Program, Amazon Web Services
  • Myrna A. Safitri, Deputy for Environment and Natural Resources, Nusantara National Capital Authority, Indonesia
  • Lauren Sorkin, Executive Director, Resilient Cities Network
  • Safiah Moore, Cities, Planning and Design Leader, Arup
  • Moderator: Dina Gurning, News Anchor and Journalist, CNBC Indonesia 


Cities play a key role in addressing climate change and the net-zero transition. This session will bring together international city experts to discuss some of the current challenges, solutions, and the role of businesses and governments in accelerating the transition of cities. The discussions will highlight successful examples on how cities are shifting to net zero while integrating climate-resilience strategies.


Asia is one of the most vulnerable regions to the impacts of climate change due to its densely populated coastal cities and low-lying inhabited islands. Urban leaders and communities want quality of life, well-being, financial security, and physical resilience of critical infrastructure and systems. At the same time, net-zero targets are focusing leaders’ minds on how to decarbonize their cities. Given the contribution cities make to global greenhouse gas emissions, leaders will increasingly be expected to take action to reduce emissions as they simultaneously build resilience and create truly sustainable and livable cities.

The session will highlight opportunities, challenges and solutions—from strategy to implementation—that can help businesses and city governments design resilient and net-zero cities of tomorrow. While addressing the challenges around governance, implementation and investment, the experts will cover four themes:

  • Decarbonization of city infrastructure (identifying and shaping investible projects)
  • Digitalization as a means to accelerate development of net-zero and resilient cities (city scale test beds for smart city innovations)
  • The need to map city climate risks and how cities in fast urbanizing, low- and middle-income countries can build urban climate resilience
  • Inclusive design interventions to build sustainable, livable, and inclusive cities.  


The session aims to:

  • Engage the audience to join the discussion with international experts on city decarbonization, resilience, and digitalization
  • Provide insights into best practice examples around green city action plans across Southeast Asia
  • Highlight climate-resilient and decarbonization strategies adopted across cities, infrastructure, and buildings
  • Showcase various implementable tools that guide strategy, design, and operations of net-zero, inclusive, and smart cities
  • Feature emerging digital technologies that enable successful city scale test beds. 

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