Videos: Michael Berkowitz on Urban Resilience, Inclusion, Medellin, and a Tale of Two Blackouts

Speaking at the 2015 McKinsey & Company Global Infrastructure Initiative, 100RC President Michael Berkowitz discussed a host of topics relating to urban resilience. The four videos below cover:

  • Beyond Emergency Preparedness – cities face sudden disasters and longer stresses, and must confront these challenges at their interplay to become more resilient.
  • The Role of Infrastructure – Medellin used one, robust intervention built around infrastructure to address violence, economic inequity, insuficient transportation, and more.
  • Inclusive Cities Are More Resilient Cities – cities have to be inclusive of their populations to build and maintain resilience effectively.
  • A Tale of Two Blackouts – a look at two blackouts in New York City and how a host of changes led to dramatically different outcomes.


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Part 1: Beyond Emergency Preparedness

“Emergency preparedness and public health are important to a resilient city. But so are community cohesion, the strength of the institutions – the municipal government, the regional, state, and national governments, and also the private sector and civil society – all those go into making a city stronger or weaker and able to handle an event.”

Part 2: The Role of Infrastructure

“If it’s done right, good infrastructure can make make cities more livable, more sustainable, more resilient, more harmonious. Good infrastructure can really be an amazing accelerator.”

Part 3: Inclusive Cities Are More Resilient Cities

“One of the key attributes of a resilent city is inclusiveness. We can evaluate that in a number of different ways, but certainly it’s that the most poor and vulnerable citizenry feel like their voices are heard, that they’re included, that you have representatives from those groups participating.”

Part 4: A Tale of Two Blackouts

“In 1977, New York City was in a very difficult place – with the ’77 blackout there was over a week of rioting, looting, and general disorder. In the 2003 blackout, the city was in a much better place, with all of these things that are hallmarks of a resilient city, and you had a completely different response.”