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Urban resilience movements unite

Source(s):  United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR)

Geneva - UNISDR and the Rockefeller Foundation plan to take urban resilience to a new level by partnering closely on helping targeted cities and their citizens to prosper, thrive and overcome man-made challenges and natural hazards.

UNISDR launched its Making Cities Resilient Campaign four years ago, and it now has over 1,850 cities committed to building resilience to disasters by implementing a ten-point checklist of measures designed to protect citizens and reduce economic losses from disaster events.

Last year, the Rockefeller Foundation launched 100 Resilient Cities (100RC), an organization dedicated to building resilience in 100 cities around the world. 100RC defines resilience as "the capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses and systems within a city to survive, adapt, and grow no matter what kinds of chronic stresses and acute shocks they experience”

While the Rockefeller is supporting the appointment of Chief Resilience Officers for selected cities, UNISDR seeks out Champions – mayors and other local representatives - to spread the word about urban resilience.

These two movements have now agreed to combine their efforts in cities which feature in both campaigns. To start, these will include: Dakar (Senegal), Durban (South Africa), Medellin (Colombia), Mexico city (Mexico), Quito (Ecuador) , Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Rome (Italy), Byblos (Lebanon), Ramallah (Palestine), San Francisco (United States of America) , Bangkok (Thailand) and Da Nang (Vietnam). For the future, UNISDR and the 100 Resilient Cities programme will continue to identify additional cities for joint support which would include assessments, capacity building, conservation of cultural heritage at risk and other supports.

UNISDR’s Director of Advocacy, Jerry Velasquez says: “This is very exciting. UNISDR’s focus is on natural hazards and the underlying drivers of disaster risks while Rockefeller’s 100 Resilient Cities focuses on a smaller number of cities but does so with a greater degree of ambition and support, trying to address a broader basket of issues which can include criminality and improving the social fabric.

“Through our collaboration we can extract lessons which will be important for other cities and municipalities in our campaign and can influence the shape of the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction which will replace the current Hyogo Framework for Action which inspired our Making Cities Resilient Campaign.”

“Building resilience is a collaborative process and UNISDR will be critical in bringing more stakeholders in the process,” said Michael Berkowitz, President of 100 Resilient Cities. “This partnership benefits the efforts of both organizations but more importantly, will greatly benefit the cause of resilience building worldwide, saving lives and protecting property.”

About 100 Resilient Cities—Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation

100 Resilient Cities - Pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) is dedicated to helping cities, in which an ever-growing percentage of people live, become more resilient to the shocks and stresses they are increasingly facing in the 21st century. 100RC provides this assistance through: funding for a Chief Resilience Officer who will lead the resilience efforts; resources for drafting a resilience roadmap; access to private sector, public sector, and NGO created resilience tools; and membership in a global network of peer cities to share best practices and challenges.

About the UNISDR Making Cities Resilient Campaign

The Making Cities Resilient: 'My City is getting ready!' campaign, launched in May 2010, addresses issues of local governance and urban risk. The Campaign is grounded in the Hyogo Framework for Action, the global agreement on disaster risk reduction, and is organized around “10 Essentials”. Local governments that sign up to the Campaign undertake a self-assessment via the Local Government Self-Assessment tool (LGSAT) developed by UNISDR in 2011 to identify the priority needs and challenges.

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  • Publication date 28 Jul 2014

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