World Urban Forum 2020: Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities network moves into a new phase

World Urban Forum 2020: Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities network moves into a new phase

By Will Bugler

The 10th World Urban Forum, is underway this week in United Arab Emirates’ capital, Abu Dhabi. The first day of the event was marked by an announcement from the Rockefeller Foundation’s flagship 100 Resilient Cities programme, that it is moving to a new phase of work and intends to add up to 10 new cities to its network.

Announced by some of the existing Chief Resilience Officers (CROs), the new incarnation of the programme will be known as the Global Resilient Cities Network. “The 10th World Urban Forum is the perfect opportunity to announce this evolution,” said Lauren Sorkin, Acting Executive Director of the Network. “This Network will drive urban resilience action with an expanded partner base and welcome up to 10 new members in 2020 to protect vulnerable communities from climate change and other urban challenges.”

Organized and convened by UN-Habitat, the World Urban Forum has become the foremost international gathering for exchanging views and experiences on sustainable urbanization. Cities face a growing range of shocks and stresses, including climate change, growing migrant populations, inadequate infrastructure, pandemics and cyber-attacks. 82% of the world’s cities are located in areas that face a high risk of mortality from a natural disaster, and nearly nine in ten cities globally are highly vulnerable to economic losses associated with potential natural disaster. Building resilience in cities and communities of all sizes is therefore more critical than ever before.

Many cities are already preparing plans and strategies to understand and manage their climate risks. Acclimatise has worked on several such strategies in the Middle East region, including Dubai in the UAE. However, more work needs to be done to drive action and investment in putting such plans into action. The Global Resilient Cities Network, aims to do just that.

“Our Network’s Resilience Strategies highlight a $35 billion investment gap in resilience in our cities alone,” said Sorkin. “We know there is more work to be done; as global threats rise, there has never been a more important time to invest in the technologies, capacities and projects that deliver urban resilience.”

The Network will leverage the experience and skills of its 100 member cities, to drive forward the urban resilience agenda around the world, delivering its objectives through CROs appointed in each of its member cities. “We are responding to a global imperative to reinvigorate a focused and financially sustainable urban resilience practice network, unlocking investment in communities and critical infrastructure,” said Mike Gillooly, the CRO of Christchurch, New Zealand. “In addition, as cities, we are committed to realize the enormous potential to engage with partners to diversify funding and sustain a renewed program.”

Follow the Global Resilient Cities Network on Twitter: @GlobalResCities

Cover photo from Wikimedia Commons.

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