A core component of the Dynamic Risk Assessment is uncovering the most influential risks on the overall risk network. Knowing and understanding these risks will be critical for city leaders as they implement strategies aimed at addressing the impacts of COVID-19.

Identifying risks with the greatest impact on the overall system is paramount to avoiding disastrous outcomes. Influential risks can help moderate the outcomes of the remaining risks found within the system.

As we have seen, the risk with the highest severity and likelihood, as well as being the most susceptible risk is economic crisis. However, the most powerful systemic mitigant to help avoid triggering economic crisis is trust, leadership and politics.

Trust, leadership and politics, from a systemic viewpoint is the only risk which can effectively mitigate the occurrence of an economic crisis. Overall, trust, leadership and politics has strong potential impacts on all risks within the network. If triggered, it has the ability to send strong shockwaves throughout the entire system.

Most influential risks facing cities - Infographic

Trust, leadership, and politics is observed as having a stronger effect on the system than it is affected by - making it a highly effective risk mitigant. Any effective mitigation strategy will likely need to strongly feature addressing this risk.

What does all of this mean as cities move to address the immediate and long-term consequences of the current pandemic? Find out in the final article in this series: Bringing it all together: Developing effective mitigation strategies.

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