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Through the Dynamic Risk Assessment, KPMG professionals have sought to unpack individual risks, risk clusters which risks were most susceptible to being triggered, and the risks with the greatest impact. Findings from the KPMG Dynamic Risk Assessment can help provide city leaders with effective tools as they work to address the challenges of COVID-19, and where to focus their already constrained resources.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a fundamental shift in thinking about cities and the way in which we all live, work and play. As cities begin to think about what the 'new normal' may look like, focus will need to be on addressing imminent risks. Paramount to addressing these risks will be the development of effective and thoughtful mitigation strategies.

Effective mitigation strategies graph

KPMG's Dynamic Risk Assessment helped shed light on these risks, how they fit into the overall risk network and where cities should focus their already strained resources. As we have seen, while economic impact is the most likely and severe risk facing cities, trust, leadership, and politics is the biggest level with the overall greatest potential impact. This risk can cause shockwaves through the network and trigger catastrophic events. We must however not lose sight of the entire network, including clusters - and while unlikely, still potentially grave - 'black swan' events.

When developing mitigation strategies, we should seek to move away from traditional planning and prioritization and think of the complex dynamics and networks that exist within cities. It is paramount that elected officials put in place effective mitigation strategies to lessen the potential medium and long-term impacts of the pandemic and help maintain public trust - trust, leadership and politics is after all the most impactful lever.