100RC & Citymart Announce Global ‘Social Cohesion Challenges’ In Oakland, Bristol (UK), & Da Nang

NEW YORK CITY – 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) and Citymart today announced a groundbreaking global “Social Cohesion Challenge” aimed at tackling deep-rooted forces that impede cities’ ability to build cohesive, thriving societies. The Challenge, which will solicit innovative solutions from diverse sectors around the globe, will bring groundbreaking techniques for addressing urban social issues to three members of the 100RC Network: Oakland, California (USA), Bristol (UK), and Da Nang (Vietnam).

“100 Resilient Cities provides a wide array of services for its Network, but perhaps the most important values it brings are information-sharing and innovation,” said Michael Berkowitz, President of 100 Resilient Cities. “This Challenge will produce actionable, creative solutions from thought leaders in many different sectors. Among all our participants’ contributions, we believe we can find answers to some of these cities’ most intractable social challenges.”

Each city has identified a specific social cohesion focus that will serve as a guide for participants in the challenge:

  • Oakland’s challenge will focus on reducing crime while building community trust in the police department. In recent years, Oakland has implemented many transformative police reforms and has garnered national attention for its 21st century policing practices. Yet trust between the police and the community, particularly low-income communities of color, remains low. This challenge will call on social entrepreneurs, community leaders, NGOs, and citizens at the local and global level for proposals to address the dual priorities of public safety and trust.
  • Bristol’s challenge will focus on improving community resilience and local unity. Bristol is a remarkably diverse city, featuring residents from 180 countries who speak 91 languages and practice at least 45 religions. An average of 40% of residents – including both long-term Bristolians and recent arrivals – cite social cohesion as a problem. Bristol’s challenge will call on social entrepreneurs, designers, NGOs, and citizens for proposals to strengthen residents’ shared sense of belonging and neighborliness in the city.
  • Da Nang’s challenge will focus on open public space. Many lower-income residents of this densely populated city cannot afford private recreational resources, and creating shared open space in the city center will meet an important community need. This challenge will call on social entrepreneurs, architects, designers, NGOs and passionate citizens for proposals to transform public space into vibrant community assets that improve the physical and mental well-being of residents.

“We are excited to partner on this Challenge open to the world’s citizens and entrepreneurs to help the cities of Da Nang, Bristol and Oakland tackle these pressing social cohesion challenges on their way to becoming more resilient cities,” said Sascha Haselmayer, CEO of Citymart.

“This partnership between Citymart and 100 Resilient Cities will directly support Oakland’s goals of becoming a safer and more resilient city,” said Libby Schaaf, Mayor of Oakland. “We’ll harness this work to foster greater social cohesion that will enable Oakland to better address day-to-day challenges, ongoing stresses and one-time catastrophic events.”

“Bristol, as a mighty small global city has long reflected its trading history in its multicultural population. It's very much part of what makes the city such a vibrant and interesting place to live.  Typically some people and neighbourhoods, often those experiencing rapid changes in population, have faced a breakdown in trust,” said Bristol Mayor George Ferguson. “As a member of 100 Resilient Cities, we are using the Social Cohesion Challenge to find creative and engaging ways for communities to embrace difference and diversity and identify shared values to help build trust and mutual respect. By encouraging people to gain a sense of shared space with their neighbours, communities can build resilience and address any threatened intolerance or social tension. This can only benefit local neighbourhoods as well as citywide community.”

“The fact is, there is not enough public space in the inner-city of Da Nang. Newly developed infrastructure, especially transport facilities, have positively reformed the urban area and promoted economic development. However, there is a shortage of public spaces for local residents and visitors to meet, exercise, and entertain,” said Vice Chairman of the Da Nang People's Committee, Mr. Phung Tan Viet. “This is not adequate to the trend of most modernized, resilient cities, which apply multi-function public spaces to address social, environmental, and economic issues. Clearly acknowledging that movement, Da Nang commits to developing sustainable public open spaces that connect people to people, and people to nature.”


About 100 Resilient Cities, Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation

100 Resilient Cities - Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) helps cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social, and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. 100RC provides this assistance through: funding for a Chief Resilience Officer in each member city who will lead the resilience efforts; resources for drafting a resilience strategy; access to private sector, public sector, academic, and NGO resilience tools; and membership in a global network of peer cities to share best practices and challenges. 100RC currently has 67 member cities. For more information, visit: www.100ResilientCities.org.

About Citymart

Citymart transforms the way cities solve problems, connecting them with new ideas through open challenges to entrepreneurs and citizens. Our method has helped more than 50 cities around the world from San Francisco to London and Barcelona to Rio de Janeiro find proven solutions. Citymart partners with cities to rethink their spending habits so they focus on what problems they need to solve instead of what things they want to buy. Cities will spend money in better ways, create new opportunities for local businesses, and find the best solutions to local problems. Ultimately, we help cities improve the quality of life for all citizens. For more information, visit: www.citymart.com

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