Resilience Accelerator

The Resilience Accelerator is a partnership between 100 Resilient Cities and the Center for Resilient Cities and Landscapes at Columbia University, connecting the diverse challenges of a global network of cities to the expertise of one of the world’s top schools of planning and design.

About the Accelerator

What We Do

How We Do It

We organize our work in three ways:

Southeast Florida

The Southeast Florida Accelerator focused on five distinct projects from across the region. Over a three-day intensive working session, participants worked to frame the projects, refine their design, and define an implementation plan. Learn more.

Vive el Yaque

The Resilience Accelerator brought design and research expertise to the Santiago de los Caballeros Vive el Yaque project, an integrated approach to mitigate flood risk and improve environmental conditions along Hispaniola’s largest river. Learn more.


Samuel Carter

Director, Resilience Accelerator

Samuel Carter is Director of the Resilience Accelerator at 100 Resilient Cities.

Sam most recently served as Managing Director leading the Resilience Team at The Rockefeller Foundation.  In that role he led the Foundation’s partnership with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development on the National Disaster Resilience Competition, as well as its work in the New York region post Sandy and in the Louisiana state ongoing long-term recovery efforts. Sam helped to establish the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University, where he served as Associate Director.  Prior to working at the IPK, Sam worked as Program Coordinator for the President’s Office of the Social Science Research Council, where he coordinated the SSRC Katrina Task Force and two books for the Privatization of Risk Series with Columbia University Press.

Sam has taught at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and NYU’s Stern School of Business.  He has served as a Researcher for Vice President Joe Biden and political strategist Robert Shrum.  Sam has a MPA from NYU where he studied policy and planning.

Kate Orff

Faculty Director, Center for Resilient Cities and Landscapes
Principal, SCAPE

Kate is the Founder of SCAPE and a MacArthur Fellow, and Faculty Director of the Center for Resilient Cities and Landscapes at Columbia University. Kate focuses on retooling the practice of landscape architecture relative to uncertainty of climate change and fostering social life which she has explored through publications, activism, research, and projects. She is known for leading complex, creative, and collaborative work processes that advance broad environmental and social prerogatives.

Kate was awarded the MacArthur Foundation ‘Genius’ Grant in 2017, the first given in the field of Landscape Architecture. Kate was named a 2012 United States Artist Fellow, an Elle Magazine “Planet Fixer,” and shared SCAPE’s design methodologies at the International TEDWomen Conference in 2010. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Political and Social Thought from the University of Virginia with Distinction and earned a Master in Landscape Architecture from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. Kate is also the Director of Columbia University GSAPP’s Urban Design Program.

Thaddeus Pawlowski

Managing Director, Center for Resilient Cities and Landscapes

Thaddeus Pawlowski is an urban designer who has been working at the forefront of adapting cities to climate change. Working in New York City government since the early 2000s, he has sought to integrate adaptation and resilience into the long term development patterns of the city through the design of projects, policies and programs. After Hurricane Sandy, he worked with the NYC Mayor’s Office on setting up disaster recovery programs and worked with communities to navigate the complex regulatory programmatic, regulatory and design landscape of recovery and resilience. He has a Masters in Architecture from University of Pennsylvania and was a 2015 Loeb Fellow at Harvard University.

Get Involved

In this round of work, we are focusing our efforts on cities in the 100RC network and strategic partnerships to advance resilience projects.

We also want to work with professionals and organizations that can help drive projects to realize resilient outcomes.  We would love to talk if you are:

Send us an email at if you have a question about partnering.

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