100 Resilient Cities & The Rockefeller Foundation: 37 New Member Cities, Reaching 100 City Milestone

Diverse Group of 100 Cities to Shape Global Urban Resilience Movement, Building Off Notable Progress Since 100RC’s Inception in 2013
100RC Provides Member Cities with Funding to Hire a Chief Resilience Officer, Access to Over $200 Million (USD) in Services, and Critical Support to Develop a City Resilience Strategy

Washington, DC & Nairobi, Kenya – Today, 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) announced the next 37 member cities to join its global network. Together with a prominent group of mayors from around the world, The Rockefeller Foundation President Dr. Judith Rodin and 100RC President Michael Berkowitz announced the newest cities to join the $164 million (USD) global initiative at joint events in Nairobi, Kenya and Washington, DC. This new cohort spans five continents, including major urban centers Nairobi, Jakarta, Buenos Aires, and eight American cities – and a unique partnership across Miami, Miami Beach, and Miami Dade County – fulfilling the organization’s founding commitment to build a network of 100 cities. Through three challenge processes since its inception in 2013, 100RC has received more than 1,000 applications to join its Network, including 325 in this most recent challenge.

As members of the 100RC Network, cities receive grant funding to hire a Chief Resilience Officer (CRO), an innovative new position within municipal government to work directly with city leaders in developing a city Resilience Strategy. The strategy, designed with support from 100RC, helps cities plan for more integrated solutions to the challenges posed from globalization, urbanization, and climate change – including important social and economic impacts.  The 100RC Network provides member cities with greater than $200 million (USD) in direct support from the 100RC Platform of Partners, which provides critical tools, services, and technical assistance from organizations like Swiss Re, Microsoft, the World Bank, and the International Rescue Committee. And cities in the 100RC Network are connected through a peer-to-peer network, leading to groundbreaking cross-city partnerships and solutions. Notably, in the fall of 2015, 100RC hosted a Network Exchange in Rotterdam, the Netherlands – which aggregated challenges from across the 100RC Network on water management issues to learn from leading water experts and bring solutions home to cities as diverse as Berkeley, Calif. and Surat, India.

“The 100 Resilient Cities Network is showing the global community a new way of coping with shared, complex challenges – building urban resilience,” said Dr. Judith Rodin, President of The Rockefeller Foundation. “Incorporating resilience planning and principles not only prepares cities for disasters and long-term threats, but also improves everyday living standards for all members of an urban community. The geographical, political, and cultural diversity in the now-complete 100RC network demonstrates that when it comes to dealing with this century’s toughest challenges, resilience planning is essential.”

“Since 100RC’s founding in 2013, we have seen the resilience movement grow from a bold idea into a burgeoning fixture of local governments all over the world,” said Michael Berkowitz, President of 100 Resilient Cities. “We are proud today to celebrate the fulfillment of our initial commitment to reach 100 cities – but the real work lies ahead. The threshold of success for 100RC will not solely be progress within our network of 100 cities. Instead, it will be the ability for solutions to scale, and for all cities around the world to build off of the innovative work leveraged by these 100 Resilient Cities through implementation of their Resilience Strategies.”

The final cohort to enter the 100RC Network includes:

“Washington, DC has always been a symbol of strength for our nation, and the city’s inclusion in the 100 Resilient Cities Network will put us on a path to an even brighter, more resilient future,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “As our nation’s capital grows, we must find ways to bolster our resilience while protecting and preserving our prosperity. We look forward to our partnership with 100 Resilient Cities, and the ability to hire a Chief Resilience Officer to lead DC’s resilience efforts, while connecting and learning from other global cities in the networks.

100RC selected cities based on each city’s demonstrated commitment to building resilience in the face of the complex, multiform challenges of the 21st Century – along with strong mayoral leadership and commitment to the initiative. 100RC’s program empowers cities to design, implement, and manage proactive solutions to the challenges posed by urbanization, globalization, and climate change, including short-term shocks like natural disasters, and long-term stresses like sea level rise and cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

Since its inception in 2013, the 100RC Network has seen remarkable progress – laying the foundation for expanding the impact of its work from 100 cities to a broader group of cities around the world:

  • Since 2013, more than 50 CROs have been appointed through 100RC, which has also inspired governments around the globe to appoint CROs on their own, separate from the 100RC program – including CROs at higher levels of government. In the 100RC Network, cities are reorganizing around the concept of resilience—with many cities in the 100RC Network already formalizing the role of the CROs as a permanent fixture within their city government.
  • A dozen members of the 100RC Network have already released Resilience Strategies, including Resilient New Orleans, winner of the 2016 American Planning Association National Planning Excellence Award. These strategies are outlining specific initiatives for resilience building and are laying the groundwork for significant investment—both from governments and from outside funders. Three members of the 100RC Network – New York, N.Y.; New Orleans, La.; and Norfolk, Va. – received a combined $400 million (USD) in federal funding after successfully leveraging their Resilience Strategies to apply for funding through the National Disaster Resilience Competition, administered by the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development. Now cities will also have access to a tool that helps them assess their resilience using a new, best-in-class index (the City Resilience Index).
  • 100RC Member cities have leveraged tools and technical assistance through more than 100 engagements with the 100RC Platform of Partners. In addition to their more than $200 million (USD) in commitments to the 100RC Network, partners have innovated and developed new services and tools to better meet cities’ resilience building challenges. Collaborations between 100RC Platform Partners, such as the work of 100RC partners Swiss Re (the world’s second-largest reinsurer) and Veolia (a transnational service and utility giant), are better preparing cities in the 100RC Network to understand the risk exposure of critical assets under current and future climate scenarios. This partnership not only arms cities with new tools to deal with the constantly evolving risks they face, but will also ensure the livability and vibrancy of cities by building their economic and physical resilience.
  • Markets are beginning to react to the work of 100RC, notably in 2015 when Moody’s, one of the big three credit agencies, credited the Resilience Strategy process in Norfolk, VA as partial rationale for maintaining the region’s credit rating.

A list of the full 100RC network is available here.


About 100 Resilient Cities—Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation
100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) helps cities around the world become more resilient to social, economic, and physical challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. 100RC provides this assistance through: funding for a Chief Resilience Officer in each of our cities who will lead the resilience efforts; resources for drafting a Resilience Strategy; access to private sector, public sector, academic, and NGO resilience tools; and membership in a global network of peer cities to share best practices and challenges. For more information, visit: www.100ResilientCities.org.

About The Rockefeller Foundation:
For more than 100 years, The Rockefeller Foundation’s mission has been to promote the well-being of humanity throughout the world. Today, The Rockefeller Foundation pursues this mission through dual goals: advancing inclusive economies that expand opportunities for more broadly shared prosperity, and building resilience by helping people, communities and institutions prepare for, withstand, and emerge stronger from acute shocks and chronic stresses. To achieve these goals, The Rockefeller Foundation works at the intersection of four focus areas—advance health, revalue ecosystems, secure livelihoods, and transform cities—to address the root causes of emerging challenges and create systemic change. Together with partners and grantees, The Rockefeller Foundation strives to catalyze and scale transformative innovations, create unlikely partnerships that span sectors, and take risks others cannot—or will not. For more information, please visit www.rockefellerfoundation.org.