May 25, 2016 – ATLANTA – Mayor Kasim Reed welcomed an announcement today from 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC), selecting Atlanta to join the 100RC Network to build urban resilience. Atlanta is among the final cohort of cities invited to join the worldwide 100RC Network. As a member of 100RC, Atlanta will gain access to tools, funding, technical expertise, and other resources to build resilience to the challenges of the 21st century. Mayor Reed said entrance into the 100RC Network will help Atlanta fight the resilience challenges of a growing metropolis.
As the number of people living in urban areas grows from 50 percent today to an estimated 70 percent in 2050, cities around the world face huge deficits in preparedness for rapid growth and natural and man-made disasters. 100RC’s new member cities are joining an elite international group proactively preparing to face any challenge that lies ahead.
Mayor Reed said: “Atlanta’s selection to join the 100 Resilient Network is not only a significant honor but will give Atlanta the tools to support a better Atlanta today, tomorrow and for future generations to come. Our application recognized Atlanta’s commitment to become more efficient, self-sustaining and better prepared to face challenges to come.” Mayor Reed continued, “As a new member of 100 Resilient Cities, we can work with the best in the private, government and non-profit sectors in developing and sharing tools to plan to and respond to the resilience challenges ahead.”
“We are so proud to welcome Atlanta to 100 Resilient Cities,” 100RC President Michael Berkowitz said. “We selected Atlanta because of its leaders’ commitment to resilience building and the innovative and proactive way they’ve been thinking about the challenges the city faces. We’re excited to get to work.”
“For us, a resilient city has good emergency response and meets its citizens’ needs,” Berkowitz continued. “It has diverse economies and takes care of both its built and natural infrastructure. It has effective leadership, empowered stakeholders, and an integrated planning system. All of those things are essential for a resilient city.”
Momentum from 100RC’s two earlier challenges made this year highly competitive, spanning over 90 countries across six continents. Atlanta was chosen from more than 325 applicants on the basis of their willingness, ability, and need to become resilient in the face of future challenges. The application process showed each city’s unique vision for resilience, a long-term commitment to building resilience in a way that connects silos of government and sectors of society, and specific attention to the needs of poor and vulnerable citizens. Applicant cities also demonstrated the willingness to be leaders in urban resilience, sharing learning experiences and becoming a model for other cities across the globe.
Member cities were selected upon the recommendation of distinguished judges from around the world, including: A. Eugene Kohn, Chairman of Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, Acha Leke, Director at McKinsey & Co Africa, Co-Founder of African Leadership Network, Ann Fudge, Vice-Chair and Senior Independent Director of Unilever, Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, Director-General of Swedish International Development Cooperation (SIDA) , Dan Doctoroff, CEO of Sidewalk Labs, Dr. Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation, Kai-Uwe Bergmann, Partner at the Bjarke Ingels Group, Michael Kocher, General Manager at Aga Khan Foundation, Nachiket Mor, Former Director and Current Board Member, Reserve Bank of India and Senior Advisor to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Nena Stoiljkovic, Vice President, Global Partnerships at the IFC.
Selected cities are now part of a global community of cities working together to build urban resilience. In the months ahead, as part of the 100RC Network, Atlanta will be eligible to receive grant funding to hire a Chief Resilience Officer, who will lead the citywide resilience-building process and engage stakeholders from across different government agencies, public and private sectors, and various communities to incorporate diverse perspectives and knowledge. Atlanta will also receive technical support to develop a Resilience Strategy that reflects the city’s distinct needs, and the support and services they need as they work towards implementing that strategy. Each new network member will gain access to a variety of 100RC Platform Partners in the private, public, academic, government, and nonprofit sectors. Partners offer tools and services valued at over $180 million USD at no direct cost to 100RC members, in areas such as innovative finance, technology, infrastructure, land use, and community and social resilience. Finally, the cities will be linked together in a global network so they can learn from each other’s challenges and successes.