By Paul Nelson
This week, the urban resilience field, will gather in Rotterdam, the Netherlands for The Urban Resilience Summit, to celebrate the accomplishments of 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) and explore the inspiring example of resilience fostered by this dynamic city.
This work won’t happen through lectures and keynotes. The 100RC Network is at its strongest when our Chief Resilience Officers, staff, and partners roll up their sleeves and work together to share successes and challenges openly and honestly, co-create solutions, and work across countries and context to pursue innovation. This is why events like The 2019 Urban Resilience Summit are so critical. Together, we will not only share ideas and insights, but also lay the foundation for the future of the urban resilience practice fostered by 100RC since its inception in 2013.
Today, we come together as a community to be inspired from city leaders across the 100RC Network — including Honolulu, Cape Town, and Christchurch — along with insights from Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb and 100RC President Michael Berkowitz.
Throughout this Summit, but especially during today’s program, we are focused on building connections. Just as cities are nothing without the people who inhabit them, so too does the 100RC Network derive its strength from its members. CROs, city influencers, and resilience partners will all have a chance to solidify relationships and consider what role they may play individually and collectively as the Network embarks on a new phase of its journey.
The connections made and best practices shared at previous Summits and other network events have led to some of the most groundbreaking initiatives we have seen in cities worldwide. Conversations with Athens and New York greatly influenced the Paris Resilience Team in developing its flagship OASIS Schoolyards project, which in turn has inspired an important Resilient Kindergartens initiative in Tbilisi. This is just one example of the cascading power of the Network: by gathering the resilience community together we can truly accelerate the pace of change we are hoping to see in cities across the globe.
We gather at a critical threshold for this work — with new and exciting opportunities ahead. And while change and evolution is certain, the constant that we’ve learned as a global community – is that together we can do more to create stronger, more cohesive, and more resilient places for all of the people who live, love, play, struggle, and work in our cities.
As the urban resilience community gathers to work this week, we expect new alliances and innovations to emerge. Whether cities are just starting their Resilience Strategy development, or multiple years into implementation, every city with us in Rotterdam has something to share. Our partners and practitioners add to that, bringing expertise and resources to a budding market for urban resilience. We know this week is going to inspire the next few years of thought on urban resilience, and we can’t wait to see the results that emerge.