Mayor Martin J. Walsh and 100 Resilient Cities Launch Network Exchange on Equitable and Resilient Cities

Exchange will galvanize leading organizations, cities, and experts to innovate ideas and solutions on equity issues, building on “Resilient Boston” strategy

BOSTON – Wednesday, November 14, 2018 ­- Mayor Martin J. Walsh, the Mayor’s Office of Resilience & Racial Equity, and 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) announced a three-day Network Exchange on Equitable and Resilient Cities will take place in Boston beginning today. Chief Resilience Officers and high-level officials from eight cities in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, will convene to build on the City’s groundbreaking work in addressing deep-rooted issues of racial disparity and systemic inequity by creating a global conversation and developing and sharing further municipal-level solutions to promote equity, inclusivity, and social cohesion.

Participating cities include Atlanta, Los Angeles, Louisville, New York, Seattle, and Tulsa in the United States, along with Greater Manchester, United Kingdom and Toronto, Canada. Cities will be represented by Chief Resilience Officers (CRO) – a position in city government created and funded by 100RC – who act as their city’s point person for resilience-building efforts, leading the development of a citywide Resilience Strategy, along with high-level city delegates with expertise in race and equity. The convening will also include 45 subject matter experts both from the 100RC Network and beyond, including partner organizations Social Finance, Anti-Defamation League, Initiative for Competitive Inner Cities, Neighborly, Ioby, Fourth Economy, HR&A Advisors, and beyond, along with 20-plus Boston city government representatives.

“With Resilient Boston, our city put forth a comprehensive roadmap for a resilient future which is firmly centered on racial equity,” said Mayor Walsh. “This convening is an exciting opportunity to share Boston’s progress and, even more, to share best practices with our peers across the 100RC network of cities.”

“Under Mayor Walsh’s leadership, the City of Boston has made its mark as a champion of racial equity,” said Otis Rolley, Managing Director for North America at 100 Resilient Cities. “Resilient Boston is already an inspiration to cities across 100RC’s global network, making Boston a fitting host for this important conversation. The cities participating are truly courageous – taking the hard and necessary steps to address such a pernicious challenge – and we greatly look forward to the event’s outcomes.”

The Boston Network Exchange will focus on practices and tactical interventions that local leaders can use toward promoting more equitable outcomes across city systems and in the delivery of core services, such as public transportation, affordable housing, and economic opportunity.

The Network Exchange will also result in a guiding document for cities around the world that are addressing the stresses associated with racial and other systemic inequities – recognizing this as a core element in strengthening their resilience to future disasters and other shock events.

“Cities can build resilience for all residents by confronting racial divisions and bias – which is known to lead to significant disparities in economic, social, and environmental outcomes, and disproportionate impacts after disasters,” said Lori Nelson, Boston’s Chief Resilience Officer. “To successfully address this complex issue, we need the support and insights of fellow cities that have gone through similar experiences, as well as private, non-governmental, and academic actors who are key partners in implementing multi-benefit solutions.”

Resilient Boston, released in 2017 by Mayor Walsh, laid the groundwork for important, community-driven work to begin addressing the systemic challenges to achieve a more resilient Boston. City of Boston staff worked for nearly two years with more than 11,000 Bostonians and the team from 100RC to develop this comprehensive strategy.

A key component of 100RC – a global effort dedicated to helping cities better prepare for 21st Century economic, social, and physical challenges – is gathering member cities to share best practices, solve problems collectively, and access expertise from peers and partners.

The following events will be open to press:

Wednesday, November 14

10:30 a.m.

Equitable Economic Opportunity Panel: How can cities ensure that the quality of life of residents is not determined by their race or ethnicity?

Ladd Room, Boston University, 43 Hawes Street, Brookline

11:15 a.m.

Equity in Planning Panel: How can cities promote more equitable outcomes for communities of color, while adequately preparing all residents for known and unknown risks?

Ladd Room, Boston University, 43 Hawes Street, Brookline

1:00 p.m.

Resilient Boston, Leadership for Change: Mayor Walsh shares Resilient Boston’s vision for a more equitable future and the City’s key leadership efforts in the space.

Ladd Room, Boston University, 43 Hawes Street, Brookline

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 social, economic, and physical challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. 100RC provides this assistance through: funding for a Chief Resilience Officer in each of our cities 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. For more information, visit: www.100ResilientCities.org.

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Contact:

100 Resilient Cities: Andrew Brenner (ABrenner@100RC.org; 646-612-7236)