As Cities Recover from Natural Disasters and Defend Against Long-Term Threats, 100RC Releases Federal Policy Guidelines to Help Focus on Resilience

Mayors from Boston to Los Angeles, Miami to Honolulu Join 100RC’s “Safer and Stronger Cities” Recommendations

New York100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation today released “Safer and Stronger Cities,” a series of policy recommendations for the federal government to help our nation’s urban centers become more resilient in the face of 21st-century challenges. The report, which comes after cities faced an unprecedented series of short-term and long-term challenges in 2017, focuses its recommendations on infrastructure, housing, flood insurance, economic development, and public safety.

Access the full report here: www.100resilientcities.org/safer-and-stronger

Nearly two dozen mayors from across the 100RC Network have already supported the proposals and said their adoption would help them build resilience in their cities. Those mayors are:

  • Bill de Blasio, (New York, NY)
  • Martin J. Walsh (Boston, MA)
  • Keisha Lance Bottoms (Atlanta, GA)
  • Mitch Landrieu (New Orleans, LA)
  • William Peduto (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • Libby Schaaf (Oakland, CA)
  • Greg Fischer (Louisville, KY)
  • Jenny Durkan (Seattle, WA)
  • Kenny Alexander (Norfolk, VA)
  • David Briley (Nashville, TN)
  • Kirk Caldwell (Honolulu, HI)
  • Eric Garcetti (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Muriel Bowser (Washington, DC)
  • Rahm Emanuel (Chicago, IL)
  • Carlos Gimenez (Miami-Dade, FL)
  • Francis X. Suarez (Miami, FL)
  • Dan Gelber (Miami Beach, FL)
  • Suzanne Jones (Boulder, CO)
  • Jacob Frey (Minneapolis, MN)
  • Lyda Krewson (St. Louis, MO)
  • Jesse Arreguín (Berkeley, CA)
  • Dee Margo (El Paso, TX)

“Cities have always taken responsibility for driving their own transformational policy changes to keep their residents safe and prosperous. But the nature of the challenges they will face in the 21st century – from catastrophic events like hurricanes, to long-term stressors like unemployment and violent crime – require an active and engaged federal government to help. These recommendations will give Congress and the White House a roadmap to ensuring all our nation’s cities are resilient,” said Michael Berkowitz, President of 100 Resilient Cities.

100 Resilient Cities drafted these recommendations in consultation with network cities, all of which share a commitment to enhancing the physical, social and economic resilience of their communities. The recommendations include:

Promote Safe and Resilient Infrastructure

  • Create a National Infrastructure Bank that supports private-public investments in resilient infrastructure, including retrofits.
  • Align cost-benefit analyses across federal agencies and require agencies to consider the full life cycle costs and benefits of infrastructure over the asset’s design life and in consideration of future conditions.
  • Cultivate partnerships between cities and the Defense Department to promote resilience of city assets that are critical to national security and military installations.
  • Implement a system that scores infrastructure based on its resilience to better prioritize scarce federal funds.
  • Coordinate Federal Government grant-making and permitting related to hazard mitigation and disaster recovery.

Increase Safe and Healthy Housing

  • Expand the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit by at least 50 percent.
  • Expand HUD Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding for flexible community development and housing.
  • Stabilize and strengthen the Pre-Disaster Mitigation program so that cities have greater resources to safeguard housing.
  • Increase the allotment of units allowed in the HUD Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program.

Support the Resilience of City Economies

  • Grow local economies through a workforce training program dedicated to promoting the nation’s safety and resilience.
  • Direct federal resources for small business to support business continuity, disaster preparedness, and post-disaster recovery.
  • Engage the private sector to develop innovative solutions for social and economic problems facing low-income communities.

Improve Public Safety and Justice

  • Support local law enforcement.
  • Support a public health approach to reduce violence.
  • Invest in evidence-based reforms that reduce crime and incarceration.
  • Prioritize the successful community re-entry of formerly-incarcerated persons.
  • Support survivors of violent crime.

There are 24 U.S. cities in the global 100 Resilient Cities Network. For a full list of network cities, click here.

Below, please find a list of select quotes from mayors on the importance of resilience planning:

“Resilience is so much more than disaster preparedness; it is a value that guides everything we do in Los Angeles, because we know that today’s decisions shape the lives of our children and grandchildren. Our city is proud to have a forward-looking strategy that will strengthen our infrastructure, protect our economy, make our institutions more inclusive, and create safer neighborhoods.”
– Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles, CA

“In New Orleans, we understand just how important it is to be a resilient city. Moreover, we understand that being resilient means more than having levees and wetlands to hold back water, but it also includes combating the longstanding, generational challenges around crime, education, income inequality and striking a balance between human needs and the environment that surrounds us. As a city that has dealt with both tough environmental and generational challenges, we are grateful for this strong national resilience policy platform to leverage partnerships between municipalities, state and federal governments in support of resiliency across cities.”
– Mitch Landrieu, Mayor of New Orleans, LA

“Resilience in Atlanta is imperative to the betterment of our communities. Improving our city’s infrastructure, economy, housing, and public safety are critical aspects of Atlanta’s resilience building. Partnership with the federal government in adopting a resilience strategy will tremendously improve the likelihood of successful outcomes.”
– Keisha Lance Bottoms, Mayor of Atlanta, GA

“Thanks to 100 Resilient Cities for this cohesive research and demonstrating the importance and the need for local and federal cooperation. We can no longer abdicate our shared responsibility to confront the difficult challenges that our communities and our country faces. Working together federal and local government can build a more resilient and prosperous nation.”
– William Peduto, Mayor of Pittsburgh, PA

“As mayors, we must prepare for tomorrow’s challenges by building a more resilient city today. Infrastructure, housing, local economics, and public safety are at the very core of urban life and we are proud to be at the forefront of the effort to build our cities, and our country, to be safer, stronger, and more resilient.”
– Dan Gelber, Mayor of Miami Beach, FL

“Our cities and our nation are experiencing complex and unprecedented challenges, such as the increasing impacts of climate change and acute shortages of affordable housing. Cities are leading the charge in addressing these and other urgent challenges. I am pleased to join my fellow mayors in working to identify opportunities for the federal government to help support and invest in local actions to advance resilience.”
– Jesse Arreguín, Mayor of Berkeley, CA

“Resilience is a team sport, and to ensure stronger and safer communities heading into the 21st century major urban centers like Honolulu are looking to develop private and public partnerships. This Federal Resilience Policy report serves as an important roadmap to ensure that federal resources are efficiently and effectively leveraged at the local level to stretch funds and make a real difference for citizens on the ground.”
– Kirk Caldwell, Mayor of Honolulu, HI

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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.

Contact:

100 Resilient Cities: Andrew Brenner – ABrenner@100resilientcities.org