As the world’s urban population continues to grow, the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) project aims to build a network of cities around the world to translate ideas about boosting urban resilience into action in urban areas.
This is not only how cities respond to shocks such as epidemics, terror outrages, fires and floods, but also the day-to-day stresses of urban life, such as poor transport systems, unaffordable housing and the lack of well-paid jobs. How can cities overcome shocks and stresses, and best produce a robust, sustainable platform on which citizens can build secure, productive lives?
It’s a big challenge, which is why 100RC is bringing together civil society, the general public and the private sector as well as philanthropy and academia to solve it. “This is a very conscious effort to try to create partnerships that we can leverage to fix some of the world’s really wicked problems,” says Michael Berkowitz, President of the 100 Resilient Cities project.
The need for greater resilience – and cross-sector partnerships
Berkowitz’s approach to the subject is conditioned by his experience in both city government and the private sector. “You wouldn’t run a big financial services company or a big private sector company without a chief risk officer,” he says. “Someone at the very senior level is thinking about how each decision affects the risk profile of the company.
“And yet, we don’t have the similar kind of position until now in cities.” He wants all cities to believe that “you wouldn’t run a city without a chief resilience officer any more than you would without a chief of police.”