Resilient Cities program expanding worldwide

The Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities program is providing funding to cities from Tulsa, Oklahoma to Amman, Jordan.  A City Resiliency Framework, including twelve “drivers” in four major areas (see illustration) helps each city focus on its particular chronic resiliency challenges, and to set the stage for a nimble response if an acute shock occurs.  As examples: El Paso/Juarez is targeting water supplies as the southwestern drought deepens, while a 2013 mapping project in Kathmandu was reactivated after the recent earthquake to help guide recovery efforts.  From a resilient investing perspective, this effort is centered in Zone 4 (involving a wide range of community organizations as well as municipal agencies and government, which is funded to hire a CRO, or Chief Resilience Officer) and Zone 1 (nonprofit and volunteer efforts) and Zone 6 (habitat, landscape).  So far, two-thirds of the cities have been chosen, with the rest set to be announced later this year.

In looking over their blog, we were especially taken by the post on the mapping project, which jumped from the Kathmandu story to an Indonesian project that worked with an artists collective to map the city of Semarang:

The next step in this process will be to collect resident reports about their community to answer questions like, “Where are unused buildings that a neighborhood would like to make a park?” and, “Where are areas prone to flooding or where stagnant water can lead to vector borne disease?”

In their 2014 selection round, the Rockefeller Foundation received applications from over 300 cities for the 35 spots they were funding.  Obviously, municipal resilience is a hot topic in cities around the world, and here’s hoping that most of these programs are getting off the ground with local and national support.  To inspire some thinking about how your city may be able to take some initial steps, peruse their city-by-city reports here; you can search by region, or by over 30 particular chronic challenges, some of which undoubtedly apply to your area.


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