By Christian Flinn
The 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) initiative was pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation in 2013 as a means of encouraging cities all around the world to better prepare for disaster mitigation. Starting with just 32 cities, the program has expanded and now includes cities from over 94 countries. While the cities involved do not face solely coastal-related disasters and complications – participants face everything from terrorism and high-crime to disease outbreak – Warwick Group Consultants will be profiling three of them: Oakland, CA; Boston, MA; and Norfolk, VA and their attempts at becoming more resilient with regards to sea-level rise and coastal flooding.
In order to better understand the significance of these cities’ efforts, it is important to understand what definition of “resilient” the Foundation uses in determining eligibility for participation in the 100RC. According to their website, “100RC supports the adoption and incorporation of a view of resilience that includes not just the shocks—earthquakes, fires, floods, etc.—but also the stresses that weaken the fabric of a city on a day-to-day or cyclical basis.” The hope is that by addressing every need, even if only by a small amount at a time, a “city [will become] more able to respond to adverse events, and [be]…better able to deliver basic functions in both good times and bad, to all populations.” It should be noted that being removed from the initiative for failing to meet these criteria is possible and has already occurred to some cities.
The benefits of being accepted into the 100RC are mainly focused on resiliency planning and obtaining access to expertise and knowledge-sharing amongst cities facing similar challenges. The Foundation’s approach involves addressing four main points that it believes can have an enormous impact on improving a city’s ability to better prepare for the unexpected. These include: providing funding to create a position in local government known as the Chief Resilience Officer, expert support in mapping out a resilient scheme for the future, networking and coordination with private and public partnerships as well as NGOs to devise ideal strategies for implementation of those schemes, and access to the Foundation’s global network of member cities that can simultaneously learn from and teach one another.
Patrick Otellini, of the city government of San Francisco, had this to say about the 100RC, “Our ability to work together, transparency and trust; these are all key to resilience.”
Keep an eye out for our profiles over the coming weeks and learn more about the 100RC for your community.
For further information, contact Christian Flinn at firstname.lastname@example.org.