NEW YORK – 100 Resilient Cities, pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation, announced that the 2014 application process of its 100 Resilient Cities Challenge has officially opened (www.100resilientcities.org/challenge).
The Challenge invites applications from cities worldwide that are ready to address to the social, economic, and physical challenges that they face in an increasingly urbanizing world. Selected cities will be eligible to receive significant resources to help them become more resilient.
"In the last year we've worked with 32 cities from around the world, learning what makes them tick and starting to surface the steps they need to take to become more resilient," said Michael Berkowitz, president of 100 Resilient Cities. "We're looking forward to using everything we've learned over the past year to ensure we have the best group of city partners, who can work with us, learn from each other, and help lead the global resilience movement. The world is becoming more urbanized and cities are facing an ever greater number of challenges, so the question is: how will cities move forward?"
The world's cities face two clear trends. First, there is increasing urbanization: the percentage of people living in cities is projected to increase from approximately 50% today to an estimated 75% by 2050. Second, cities face more frequent and intense natural and manmade threats. Taken together, it is clear that cities need to think and act differently, and the 100 Resilient Cities Challenge is helping cities do just that.
"While cities across the globe can't predict which disruptions will come next, they can plan for them, learn from them, and grow after them. This is the crux of resilience," said Dr.Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation. "100 Resilient Cities is helping cities to adopt innovative approaches that build resilience to the unprecedented physical, economic, and social challenges that characterize the 21st century".
Cities everywhere are invited to apply, and will be judged on a range of criteria – including how well they will address the needs of the poor or vulnerable, who are disproportionately impacted by shocks and stresses. Selected cities will be eligible to receive:
- Grant funding to hire a Chief Resilience Officer, who will lead the resilience building process, bringing in stakeholders from across silos of government and sectors of society;
- Technical support to develop a holistic resilience strategy that reflects each city's distinct needs;
- Access to an innovative platform of services to support strategy development and implementation. Platform partners come from the private, public, and nonprofit sectors, and will offer tools in areas such as innovative finance, technology, infrastructure, land use, and community and social resilience;
- Membership in the 100 Resilient Cities Network to share knowledge and practices with other member cities. To apply, municipal government leaders and major institutions can submit an application on behalf of their city. To learn more, or fill out an application (subject to official rules www.100resilientcities.org/pages/100-resilient-cities-2014-challenge-official-rules).