City of Oakland Unveils Innovative Resilience Playbook to Tackle City’s Toughest Long-Term Challenge

 

Resilient Oakland addresses economic security, equitable jobs and housing, community safety and threats from climate change; City is third in Bay Area to release resilience strategy.

 

Oakland, CA – Today, the City of Oakland released Resilient Oakland: It Takes a Town to Thrive, a resilience playbook and call to action designed to tackle Oakland’s most pressing systemic and interdependent economic, social and physical challenges. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf unveiled the strategy today on the shores of Lake Merritt, itself an example of resilience, having evolved from being the nation’s first wildlife refuge, to its current glory as the jewel of Oakland and a centerpiece for community cohesion showcasing the impact of green infrastructure. Mayor Schaaf was joined by Michael Berkowitz, President of 100 Resilient Cities; Kiran Jain, Oakland’s Chief Resilience Officer; and many City staff, community members and local resilience experts who have contributed to this holistic approach. The City of Oakland is grateful for the extraordinary support and partnership from 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC).

Resilience in Oakland means equitable access to quality education and jobs, housing security and community safety. It means building vibrant infrastructure to better prepare for shocks like earthquakes and stresses like climate change. In Oakland, resilience means catalyzing our diverse pool of talents and perspectives to tackle these challenges, both inside and outside our government, with particular focus on addressing the needs of the most vulnerable members of our community.

Resilient Oakland was developed in collaboration with more than 100 community leaders, public agencies, non-profit organizations, students and foundations with expertise in economic, social and environmental justice; climate adaptation; transportation; urban planning; housing; civic technology; architecture and design; data science; arts; business; education; public health; energy; sustainability and health care; and more than 50 City of Oakland staff representing a similarly broad cross-section of disciplines.

“Oakland has a rich tradition of social innovation and a strong legacy of resilience. In this time of hyper-prosperity brought on, in part, by the technology and real estate booms in the San Francisco Bay Area, Oakland is uniquely positioned to take advantage of its growth while remaining true to its roots and sense of self,” said Mayor Schaaf. “Our current challenges–rapidly rising income inequality and housing displacement, chronic homelessness, disparate unemployment and education rates, and community safety–are an opportunity to do what Oakland has always done: rethink old paradigms and balance the equation of equitable access to opportunity while building more creative and vibrant infrastructure to support our promising future.”

Resilient Oakland provides concrete, actionable initiatives organized around three themes: build a more trustworthy and responsive government; stay rooted and thrive in our town; and build a more vibrant and connected Oakland. The Strategy is designed to make Oakland better prepared for ‘shocks’ – earthquakes, flooding, wildfires – and ‘stresses’ – housing insecurity, educational disparity and community safety. With this release, Oakland became the 19th city in the world, the seventh in the U.S., and the third in the Bay Area to unveil a comprehensive resilience strategy aimed at tackling its biggest vulnerabilities.

“The Resilient Oakland Playbook sets forth nearly 40 actions designed to be collaborative, data-driven and equitable in our outcomes,” said Kiran Jain, Oakland’s Chief Resilience Officer. “By taking a continuous ‘build, measure, learn’ approach to resiliency, we honor the work that has been done and build on it today, while setting forth bold actions that shape the future of a more resilient Oakland.”

“From a committed public sector, to an active and engaged citizenry, Oakland has all the right ingredients to thrive as an innovative and robust resilient city,” said 100 Resilient Cities President Michael Berkowitz. “We look forward to working on the ideas outlined in Resilient Oakland alongside all Oaklanders.”

The first theme of the strategy, building a more trustworthy and responsive government, outlines plans to support a culture of civic innovation built on data analysis, iterative processes and human-centered service design. Specific goals include designing equitable and measurable community engagement; creating opportunities for collaborative government; applying data-driven principles to inform decision-making; and engaging youth in shaping the city’s future.

The second theme of the strategy, staying rooted and thriving in our town, focuses on drawing strength from the city’s extraordinary diversity to ensure housing and economic security for all Oaklanders. By creating pathways to success for young men and women of color, promoting safe and healthy neighborhoods and providing gap financing for affordable housing in transit-accessible neighborhoods, Oakland can support long-term residents’ ability to stay while accommodating a growing population.

Resilient Oakland’s third theme, building a more vibrant and connected Oakland, envisions a transformative approach to the city’s infrastructure that builds on Oakland’s commitment to renewable energy and efficiency goals. The strategy provides concrete ideas to reduce current and future climate and seismic risks, provide urban greening for the neighborhoods most in need and explore innovative financing mechanisms to maximize the value of collective infrastructure investments. Committing to these goals will ensure critical infrastructure like storm drainage systems can keep pace with the demands of the 21st century.

In 2014, Oakland was one of the first cities selected, from a pool of approximately 1,100 applicants, to join the 100RC network, along with San Francisco and Berkeley. The 100RC Network also includes a diverse group of global cities, such as Los Angeles, Chicago, London, Paris, Rotterdam, Bangkok, and Accra.

To read Resilient Oakland, please click here.

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.

Media Contacts:

Erica Terry Derryck
Mayor Schaaf’s Office
(510) 238-7072
EDerryck@oaklandnet.com

Karen Boyd
City of Oakland
City Administrator’s Office
(510) 449-4401
KBoyd@oaklandnet.com

Max Young
100 Resilient Cities
(917) 710-0553
myoung@100rc.org