Is your city resilient?
Over the last decade we have seen many large scale natural disasters bring populations to their knees. 2012′s Hurricane Sandy, for example, is considered to be the second-costliest tropical cyclone in US history with an estimated $68 billion in damages and 148 lives lost. Sandy’s destruction exposed the challenges facing governments as they struggle to adequately assist urban populations with disaster recovery.
Out of the tragedies have come some important realizations. Investing in preparing for disasters is just as important as investing in disaster relief, and this year, the Rockefeller Foundation, celebrating its 100th anniversary, has pledged a large sum of its wealth to enhance the resilience of cities in the face of disaster.
Acknowledging that by 2050, 75% of the population will live in urban areas, the Rockefeller Foundation has launched the 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge, with a goal of selecting 100 cities from across the world and investing $100 million to help these cities develop more robust infrastructure and planning in addition to relief financing. Successful applications will lead to citywide resilience plans championed by a ‘Chief Resilience Officer’ within local government. The aim is to develop urban communities, organizations and systems that can bounce back more effectively from catastrophic events by creating diversity, redundancy and adaptability within existing systems.
Implicit within the challenge is the acknowledgment that poor communities often suffer the most during times of disaster and that finding ways to help these communities become more resilient is a critical undertaking. This investment opportunity encourages every city to be proactive and prepared. What ideas do you have to help your community be more resilient?
(Deadline for registering to participate in the Challenge is September 23, 2013).
[Top Image: David Rankin]