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Resilient Cities Network focuses on strengthening cities recovery from COVID-19

Resilient Cities Network focuses on strengthening cities recovery from COVID-19

Date Posted: 2020-09-23

Organization Name: Resilient Cities Network

As continued resilient recovery remains a priority in cities around the world, the global community represented by Resilient Cities Network came together virtually.

With cities still battling the unprecedented global pandemic and the compound risks of climate change and social inequity the agenda discussed by the core executive team as well as the Network alumni community was particularly relevant, reviewing and discussing the strategic direction of the Network for 2021-2023.

During the meeting, Lauren Sorkin, Executive Director of the Network, presented Daniel Stander, Private Sector Representative to the United Nations, Naina Batra, Chairwoman and CEO, Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN), Sylvester Turner, Mayor of Houston, and Sameh Wahba, Global Director of Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience, and Land Global Practice, World Bank as new appointees for the Board of Directors. Also, the network’s Global Steering Committee was confirmed. It will be headed by co-chairs Belfast, represented by Grainia Long, Commissioner for Resilience, and Christchurch, represented by Mike Gillooly, Chief Resilience Officer, and comprised of Buenos Aires, Salvador, Pune, Cape Town, Kigali, Rotterdam, San Francisco, and Houston.

“The reach, achievements, and vision of the Resilient Cities Network are impressive,” said Sylvester Turner, Chair of the Board of Directors and Mayor of Houston. “Speaking on behalf of the Board of Directors, I can say that we feel deeply inspired by the commitment of the organization to support the critical needs of vulnerable communities by implementing projects that address multiple shocks and stresses and are improving the lives of people.”

Resilient Cities Network co-creates urban solutions to address complex and interrelated urban challenges, so that cities and communities thrive. The Network will focus on three priorities to be delivered through programs of collective action with member cities during the next two years through a holistic resilience approach.

It continues to pursue a resilient recovery to reinforce equity, to promote private-public partnerships, and foster stronger local economies. Also, cities need to be prepared to further build climate resilience, not only to protect citizens from water-related challenges but also to strengthen the capacity of communities to cope with the effects of climate change. The third priority is the promotion of circular economies through indigenous and technological solutions to rapidly and sensibly enhance waste management and food systems.

“Now more than ever building city resilience makes sense. Working with cities to create prosperous, equitable, and safe urban environments while prioritizing access to healthcare for vulnerable populations is a key driver for us,” said Grainia Long, co-chair of the Global Steering Committee, Commissioner for Resilience, Belfast. “We are committed to growing the practice of urban resilience across the globe in a way that it accrues social, economic, and political capital, making our cities thrive. At this point, we feel proud of the refreshed visual identity and of our new website and logo, which better represent the values and commitment of the Network.”

Empowered by the knowledge and expertise of resilience practitioners and governments, the Network is activating projects to deliver local benefits and collective impact that benefit over 220 million citizens around the globe, 50 million of them living under vulnerable conditions.

As a city-led Network, the organization works together with Chief Resilience Officers, mobilizing communities, city governments, urban practitioners, and partners in the pursuit of safe and equitable urban societies.

“We are grateful to both the Board of Directors and the Global Steering Committee for their active engagement, advice, and commitment,” Sorkin said. “Working with them, we feel empowered to build on the valuable legacy from which Resilient Cities Network emerges. We have in our hands a promising opportunity to enhance the quality of life, improve access to infrastructure, and build a healthier and more sustainable future for all.”