The pandemic has forced just about every part of society to reckon with resilience, but for cities the question is especially urgent. Will the global trend toward urbanization, which has been underway for more than 50 years, change its trajectory? Will increasing density remain the norm?

The intersection of these two issues — resilience and urbanism — is relevant in a COVID context, but it’s also increasingly important in a climate context. 

Shayle has talked about how the increasing prevalence and magnitude of natural disasters are going to slowly but surely foster a “culture of resilience” in society, where we’re forced to deal with the likelihood that once in 100-year events are happening much more often.

So what does building better resilience into cities actually mean, and how are we performing?

To tackle these questions, Shayle turns to the co-hosts of Technopolis, a podcast about how technology is disrupting, remaking, and sometimes over-running our cities. 

Molly Turner is an urban planner and teaches urban tech at UC-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. Jim Kapsis runs The Ad Hoc Group, a firm that helps climate tech startups navigate and grow in heavily regulated markets.

Shayle, Molly and Jim discuss the changing urban migration patterns and what it means for the future of cities.

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Then this episode’s two Californians, Molly and Shayle, compare notes on surviving last year’s fires. They also cover various wildfire tech, such as AI for detecting fires, predictive modeling and satellites for mapping risk, drones and extinguisher formulas.

But even with this bevy of promising technologies, Shayle and guests discuss the limits. Who pays for these technologies? And how much of this is a technology problem vs. a land-use and planning problem? 

And if technologies can’t keep people safe, do we actually need to start winding down some cities and moving people out? How do we do this equitably, if at all?

They also tackle the question of whether cities are at risk of insurance companies backing out. Molly and Jim talk about the different policy tools at our disposal. Shayle highlights some of the data needs and parallels to coal, the energy transition, and stranded assets. 

Finally, they cover what the Biden administration is planning specifically to help cities.