Last week the Rockefeller Foundation announced the inaugural group of cities selected through its 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge, which was launched to celebrate the Foundation’s 100th anniversary. After evaluating nearly 400 applications from cities around the world, 33 were chosen to join the Resilient Cities Network. I was very pleased to learn that Los Angeles was one of them. You can find a complete list of winners here.
You may be wondering what exactly the Rockefeller Foundation means by “resilience.” According to their web site, resilient cities are those that “…have demonstrated a dedicated commitment to building their own capacities to prepare for, withstand, and bounce back rapidly from shocks and stresses.” Given all that Los Angeles has gone through since its founding, including earthquakes, fires, civil unrest, riots, and flooding, I’m not surprised we made the list. LA is a highly complex metropolis that faces a myriad of challenges as it grows and changes. As stated in the 100 Resilient Cities site, “The central question is how a city of L.A.’s size and scope can truly be sustainable and resilient in a changing and increasingly globalized world.”
So what how will Los Angeles benefit from inclusion in this Network? The Rockefeller Foundation will provide:
Support to hire and empower a Chief Resilience Officer, a central point of contact within each city to coordinate and oversee the resilience activities, coordinate stakeholders, and ensure resilience is a city-wide priority.
Support for that Chief Resilience Officer to develop a resilience plan, which will take stock of existing efforts, identify priority areas of needs, conduct analysis to understand the interconnected risks and opportunities, and develop a clear and actionable set of priorities and initiatives.
Access to a platform of services to support the implementation of such a strategy, which may include solutions to spur investments and financing for resilient infrastructure, information technology tools, and policy models for resilience-enabling laws and regulations.
Connection to other Network members, to share what works, spotlight success, and advance both global and regional dialogues on urban resilience.
I look forward to following this story to see how Los Angeles makes use of these resources to improve the lives of all Angelenos.