Taking Action: Urban Resilience Initiatives

The more than 30 Resilience Strategies published by 100RC member cities so far contain more than 1,600 action-oriented initiatives — from discrete social programs to ambitious infrastructure projects, running on timescales from a few months to multiple generations. These cities are already hard at work implementing these actions, and thus far have leveraged more than US $535M in external funding from private, public, and philanthropic sources to that end. This is just the beginning of what we expect to be significant investment in urban resilience efforts over the next decade and beyond.

New York, USA

The actions in the Strategies are a blend of ongoing work, recognized for its resilience value, as well as new ideas generated by the Strategy development process. Analysis of these Strategies reveals a growing resilience movement — our cities are creating Strategies in different contexts around the world that nevertheless share many common goals and bring a holistic understanding to their methods for tackling similar challenges.

While all of our cities have created actions around mainstreaming good governance, institutionalizing resilience, improving sustainability, and managing key city services, we also see the influence of regional conditions and unique city characters, with African cities more focused on energy and waste management, the Asia-Pacific region honing in on disaster preparedness, Latin America more likely to target social cohesion, Europe innovating around urban design, and North America prioritizing socio-economic equity.

  1. Boston is incorporating racial equity goals into its plans for extending its metro transit system.
  2. Medellín, together with Platform Partner Build Change, is protecting informal communities from landslides while improving social cohesion among residents.
  3. Melbourne will create a cohesive strategy for managing urban forests across its many jurisdictions, to take full advantage of the multiple benefits offered by healthy natural assets.
  4. Surat will address its twin problems of insufficient water quantity and quality through comprehensive and inclusive planning that combines place-based interventions with programmatic elements and community engagement.
  5. New Orleans is developing new systems for flood protection by systematically considering the challenges and opportunities of an entire district, to build resilience at the neighborhood scale.
  6. New York is exemplifying the ethos of “build back stronger” in a highly vulnerable community still severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy, by incorporating goals of economic inclusion and quality-of-life improvements into its disaster recovery planning.
  7. Mexico City is deploying innovative finance to meet the basic water needs of its vulnerable populations in a manner that will also protect its ecosystems and boost its resilience to climate change.

Along with those seven projects this report highlights 33 additional projects across 25 more member cities around the globe which are working on similar resilience challenges. All of the efforts included here are in or near implementation, and will continue to evolve as our member cities and their partners learn and iterate on this work. If you are interested in learning more, or in getting involved in these projects, please contact info@100resilientcities.org.