US: As cities recover from natural disasters and defend against long-term threats, 100RC releases federal policy guidelines to help focus on resilience

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100 Resilient Cities

New York – 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation today released “Safer and Stronger Cities,” a series of policy recommendations for the federal government to help our nation’s urban centers become more resilient in the face of 21st-century challenges. The report, which comes after cities faced an unprecedented series of short-term and long-term challenges in 2017, focuses its recommendations on infrastructure, housing, flood insurance, economic development, and public safety.

Access the full report here: www.100resilientcities.org/safer-and-stronger

Nearly two dozen mayors from across the 100RC Network have already supported the proposals and said their adoption would help them build resilience in their cities. Those mayors are:

  • Bill de Blasio, (New York, NY)
  • Martin J. Walsh (Boston, MA)
  • Keisha Lance Bottoms (Atlanta, GA)
  • Mitch Landrieu (New Orleans, LA)
  • William Peduto (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • Libby Schaaf (Oakland, CA)
  • Greg Fischer (Louisville, KY)
  • Jenny Durkan (Seattle, WA)
  • Kenny Alexander (Norfolk, VA)
  • David Briley (Nashville, TN)
  • Kirk Caldwell (Honolulu, HI)
  • Eric Garcetti (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Muriel Bowser (Washington, DC)
  • Rahm Emanuel (Chicago, IL)
  • Carlos Gimenez (Miami-Dade, FL)
  • Francis X. Suarez (Miami, FL)
  • Dan Gelber (Miami Beach, FL)
  • Suzanne Jones (Boulder, CO)
  • Jacob Frey (Minneapolis, MN)
  • Lyda Krewson (St. Louis, MO)
  • Jesse Arreguín (Berkeley, CA)
  • Dee Margo (El Paso, TX)

“Cities have always taken responsibility for driving their own transformational policy changes to keep their residents safe and prosperous. But the nature of the challenges they will face in the 21st century – from catastrophic events like hurricanes, to long-term stressors like unemployment and violent crime – require an active and engaged federal government to help. These recommendations will give Congress and the White House a roadmap to ensuring all our nation’s cities are resilient,” said Michael Berkowitz, President of 100 Resilient Cities.

100 Resilient Cities drafted these recommendations in consultation with network cities, all of which share a commitment to enhancing the physical, social and economic resilience of their communities. The recommendations include:

Promote Safe and Resilient Infrastructure

  • Create a National Infrastructure Bank that supports private-public investments in resilient infrastructure, including retrofits.
  • Align cost-benefit analyses across federal agencies and require agencies to consider the full life cycle costs and benefits of infrastructure over the asset’s design life and in consideration of future conditions.
  • Cultivate partnerships between cities and the Defense Department to promote resilience of city assets that are critical to national security and military installations.
  • Implement a system that scores infrastructure based on its resilience to better prioritize scarce federal funds.
  • Coordinate Federal Government grant-making and permitting related to hazard mitigation and disaster recovery.

Increase Safe and Healthy Housing

  • Expand the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit by at least 50 percent.
  • Expand HUD Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding for flexible community development and housing.
  • Stabilize and strengthen the Pre-Disaster Mitigation program so that cities have greater resources to safeguard housing.
  • Increase the allotment of units allowed in the HUD Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program.

Support the Resilience of City Economies

  • Grow local economies through a workforce training program dedicated to promoting the nation’s safety and resilience.
  • Direct federal resources for small business to support business continuity, disaster preparedness, and post-disaster recovery.
  • Engage the private sector to develop innovative solutions for social and economic problems facing low-income communities.

Improve Public Safety and Justice

  • Support local law enforcement.
  • Support a public health approach to reduce violence.
  • Invest in evidence-based reforms that reduce crime and incarceration.
  • Prioritize the successful community re-entry of formerly-incarcerated persons.
  • Support survivors of violent crime.

There are 24 U.S. cities in the global 100 Resilient Cities Network. For a full list of network cities, click here.

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