Launching a Network of Chinese Cities

Last month, the cities of Yiwu and Haiyan, China hosted their Agenda-Setting Workshops to formally begin their resilience strategy development journeys.

The workshop is an important milestone for cities as they convene a wide range of city stakeholders to set clear priorities for their resilience-building work and create a Resilience Strategy. In Haiyan, Mayor Wang Suishe and Vice Mayor Wang Jian of Haiyan opened the workshop and later announced the appointment of CRO Xiao Yuxin and the Haiyan Resilience Leadership Group. In Yiwu, Party Secretary Sheng Qiuping and Vice Mayor Chen Xiaozhong opened the workshop, introducing the city’s key challenges and unique commitment and need for resilience. The city also officially introduced Vice Mayor Xiong Tao as Yiwu’s Chief Resilience Officer.

These workshops marked an important contribution to our global network: All four Chinese member cities in our network have now appointed Chief Resilience Officers, launching a regional resilience network in China for the first time.

  • Deyang: Qiu Aijun
  • Haiyan: Xiao Yuxin
  • Huangshi: Xia Yunlong
  • Yiwu: Xiong Tao

Why does this matter? China is rapidly urbanizing. By the end of 2015, 56% of China’s total population lived in urban areas. As China has grown, the country has sought to shift away from its dependence on fossil fuels, becoming the world’s largest producer of renewable energy. China is experiencing first-hand many of the trends affecting cities around the world.

At the Yiwu workshop, the four new CROs joined 100RC’s Regional Director for Asia Pacific, Lauren Sorkin, on a panel to discuss the role of the CRO and how to best exchange knowledge between each other, across China, and the wider global network.

Left to Right: Huangshi CRO Xia Yunlong, Deyang Qiu Aijun, Lauren Sorkin, 100RC President Michael Berkowitz, Yiwu CRO Xiong Tao, Haiyan CRO Xiao Yuxin, Horng Dar Lim

The four CROs in China will have the unique experience of moving through their Strategy development processes together while drawing on the deep experience of other 100RC cities. Through quarterly workshops, the CROs and their teams will develop and share resilience lessons and successes, learning and collaborating on their work.

They will also endeavor to inspire other cities in China to join the urban resilience movement and appoint CROs of their own.  The CRO network will work closely with the China Center for Urban Development (CCUD) to support the development of this work and also evaluate its impact.  CCUD will then be able to advise other cities and the national government on how to best build resilience across China.

Through this, China’s CROs will make major contributions to China, the 100RC network and the global resilience movement. Their efforts will include:

  • Leading on subject matters such as earthquake resilience, as learned from experience in Deyang and social cohesion issues, based on work in Yiwu
  • Leveraging city and 100RC resources to overcome each city’s unique and common shocks and stresses
  • Using 100RC network opportunities to develop new learnings and partnerships around China’s unique resilience challenges
  • Cultivating relationships with local practitioners to help to achieve resilience visions and goals

We are confident that with a global platform, the resources and support of partners, other practitioners, and CROs, China’s CROs will continue to grow in their roles within their current cities, regions, and communities, and create lasting change to make their cities more resilient.