The Road Ahead

Cities are embracing a central role in addressing the challenges of the 21st century. With mass migration, extreme weather, social and economic inequity, and aging and inadequate infrastructure disproportionately affecting urban centers, cities are developing new strategies that tackle these challenges and help ensure they will survive and thrive in the face of a wide variety of shocks and stresses.

This report has looked at initiatives being planned and implemented across our Network of member cities. It profiled resilience actions from 33 different cities, on the topics of urban mobility, informal settlements, natural assets, water security, neighborhood regeneration, disaster recovery, and innovative finance, as well as highlighting examples of the services available from our Platform of Partners.

Over the last 4 years, the 100 Resilient Cities Network has catalyzed and shared transformative thinking and planning, helping to connect cities to the resources and expertise required for them to begin to take action. The next era of our partnership with these dynamic cities and global leaders will be focused on implementation. It’s one thing to talk about transformation, it’s another to design, resource, and implement actions and initiatives that actually deliver systemic change. That is the work our cities have begun — profiled throughout this report — and that is the work we are committed to continuing.

The metro areas of 100RC’s member cities are home to nearly 500M people. If we can collectively build solutions like the ones profiled in this report — initiatives that reduce flooding while increasing water security, that integrate and protect informal communities, that improve mobility while reducing racial inequity — we can have a significant impact on the well-being of millions of people, especially the poor and vulnerable.

It is often said that the 21st century will be the century of cities. As we witness many national governments falling victim to partisan politics, political intransigence, or populist appeals that prey on fear and xenophobia, it reinforces the need for cities to step in and lead, and it reinforces how important a strong network of cities taking action can be for our collective future. Whether forming a bulwark against nationalism or defending our global commons through innovative strategies for valuing and protecting natural assets, cities are having an international impact and setting a new trajectory for a vibrant global future.

Surat, India (left) and Thessaloniki, Greece (right)