The Resilience Strategy Development Process

The development of a Resilience Strategy is a hallmark of 100RC’s partnership with cities. The Strategies articulate a city’s long-term challenges, vision, and priorities, as well as specific initiatives for implementation that will have a positive impact on the lives and livelihoods of citizens.

100RC created a unique Resilience Strategy development process to help cities, partners, and citizens understand and address their shocks and stresses in a comprehensive way, and develop a series of actionable initiatives that will make their cities stronger and better able to adapt, thrive, and grow. Perhaps most importantly, the Strategy development process itself helps the city build resilience by entrenching a practice of integrated, inclusive, risk-aware, and forward-looking planning.

Athens, Greece

The process is led by a city’s Chief Resilience Officer, a senior municipal official tasked with breaking down silos and helping transform how cities understand their risks and plan for the future. To-date, 100RC member cities have appointed nearly 80 CROs around the globe. These diverse and dynamic leaders represent the vanguard of the resilience practice and are driving change in some of the world’s most complex cities. 100RC typically provides seed funding for this position for just two years, with the goal that doing so will catalyze longer-term change.

Thus far, nearly all of our cities have continued to fund and institutionalize their CRO offices after the 100RC grant period, proving the CRO’s office to be an integral part of city government in the 21st century and in building the capacity of cities to prepare for the future.

Another core component of the 100RC Strategy development process is our member city Network, comprised of all our global CROs. Not only does the Network allow our cities to cross-pollinate best practices and new ideas, but by having 100 disparate cities around the world adopt a common Resilience Strategy development process and CRO role, we are creating a shared language and experience base, and building a cohesive global practice of resilience. The Network enables different cities, partners, and other practitioners to inform each other’s work, solve problems collectively, and catalyze further action.

Deep and meaningful dialogue with citizens and stakeholders is a critical aspect of creating a Resilience Strategy. Too often, the voices of residents, especially the most vulnerable, aren’t integrated into city actions. Because the poor and vulnerable are also often disproportionately impacted by shocks and stresses, their perspective must inform the creation of the policies and programs that will affect them. To date, our cities have engaged more than 1,300 local community groups in the resilience planning process, ensuring citizen voice in and ownership of the resilience agenda. In Boston, CRO Dr. Atyia Martin embarked on a monumental campaign of stakeholder engagement to inform the city’s Resilience Strategy, including by riding on city buses and interviewing passengers. Overall, her office engaged with nearly 12,000 residents, on topics ranging from racial equity to housing affordability to mental health to the impacts of climate change. Her commitment to gathering insights from the community led to the Strategy’s unique emphasis on racial equity as integral to the city’s future development.

In sum, a Chief Resilience Officer, a Network of member cities, a Platform of Partners, and a foundation of community engagement are all key elements of the 100RC process. The Resilience Strategy development process creates new insights, partnerships, and approaches, and entails a holistic analysis of a city’s capacities, strengths, weaknesses and risks. The connections created during the process will raise awareness, spur investment, stimulate new tools, partnerships, and financing for implementation in each city, and collectively catalyze a global movement to build urban resilience.