Creating resilient cities

Population growth, rapid urbanization and climate change put our urban infrastructure under pressure. Siemens’ technologies can help cities respond to these challenges with innovative solutions and our expertise in the areas of electrification, automation, and digitalization.
Get detailed information on how technology can support cities

Toolkit for resilient cities


Technology is key to building resilience

Stable economic development, comprehensive public safety, reliable infrastructure, sustainable and affordable housing – these are crucial factors enabling cities to thrive and grow. Cities depend on them to cope with population growth and urbanization across the globe.

Facing the challenge

Urban infrastructure systems and their effective and reliable operation ensure delivery of energy, mobility, water, sanitation and information, on a daily basis and during unplanned or unforeseeable situations. Yet with an ever-increasing frequency, businesses and communities face emergencies such as extreme weather-related events. City leaders have to find a new way of thinking about how to plan, design, build and manage their cities under more challenging conditions.

Siemens enables cities to boost their resilience by bringing international know-how directly to city managers. Our task is to help urban areas become more resilient to the physical, social, and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. We work with public organizations as well as private companies in helping cities, their people, communities and institutions respond to the stresses and acute shocks caused by rapid urbanization, globalization, and climate change. For us, resilience is not only about surviving – it is also about thriving, regardless of the challenge.

Resilient infrastructure is not an option. It is a must!
Roland Busch, Member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG

Standing up to the test

When critical infrastructure, like power and water supplies, can continue functioning in times of emergency, it goes a long way in minimizing disruption and ultimately saving lives.
The grid electricity system

Avoiding power failure

Energy is the backbone of life in cities, affecting every area of their infrastructure. Water distribution, public transport, communications and medical services for instance all require a reliable and resilient energy supply – it is vital for communities and businesses alike. The overall energy supply in urban areas is diverse and comprises a number of sources and modes: ranging from centralized power plants, to oil and gas for heating, or local power generation and heat networks. However, if a distribution network is affected by severe weather events, millions of customers may lose power and be literally left standing in the dark.

Remote monitoring and energy storage provide back-up supplies

Making urban electricity systems more resilient and sustainable calls for a shift towards distributed, automated and remotely controlled energy systems. Microgrid infrastructure, whereby small, independent electricity or heat grids distribute locally generated energy to nearby customers, can ensure a constant power supply even if the main power grid is under stress. In the event of a major catastrophe at a centralized plant or in the transmission network, microgrids could channel energy to critical services, such as hospitals and other emergency services.

Remote monitoring, the flexible integration of decentralized energy and energy storage devices present opportunities to increase the resilience of energy supply while at the same time improving efficiency and adopting cleaner sources of power. During extreme weather, like hurricanes or other major substation events, mobile resilience transformers can replace units within days rather than weeks. For example, Siemens is providing Con Edison, the utility that powers New York City and local areas, with compact, light and environment-friendly transformers. The mobile resilience transformers  allow Con Edison to respond to events in which multiple transformers are impacted and normal spares or system redundancy may not be able to address the issues.


Intelligent transportation networks

Mobility underpins the social and economic activity of any city around the world, making an unobstructed and sustainable transport infrastructure its lifeline. Yet despite most city transportation networks comprising a variety of mode and pathway options, many travelers and freight transport tend to depend on a familiar route. Add to this the reliance on stable energy and fuel supplies, transportation services are a highly sensitive and easily disrupted system. With recent evidence suggesting that the frequency and severity of extreme weather events will be increasing noticeably, special attention needs to be paid to cities’ transport networks. Intelligent systems that forecast and respond to the impact of damaging weather events can ensure that periods of disruption are minimized and long-term economic sustainability is not undermined.
Building systems

Maintaining health, comfort and a constant information flow

Buildings provide essential shelter and structure while shaping the culture and physical character of the city. They are a crucial element of resilient infrastructures since they are the hubs that bring energy and water to consumers and provide destination points for most transportation systems. When equipping or modernizing buildings or entire cities to the highest standards of resilience, it is paramount to have a comprehensive understanding of hazardous and emergency situations in order to be able to react and evacuate safely and with the highest possible speed. Technologies have to be taken into account as much as the site and the design of buildings. Siemens provides a range of technology solutions that help to support the resilience of building systems, and ensure their ongoing functionality.
Water management system

Ensuring a continuous water supply

Supplying drinking water and treating wastewater is a global challenge and critically important to all urban areas, particularly when keeping in mind the shortage of water we will face in the coming years. Through decentralized approaches, redundant infrastructure, automation and asset monitoring we can ensure a safe and continuous water supply, even in cases of irregularities, extreme weather or general water shortages. As industry experts for water applications, we offer powerful, innovative technical solutions.