Fishermen unloading their catch to the local fish market in the Mekong Delta, Esin Ustun, Flickr

High Five: New Global Partnerships to Help Build Urban Resilience

With our December announcement of 35 new partner cities, our network doubled in size. More than 270 million people live in cities actively working to build their resilience, as part of 100 Resilient Cities. This work is a real priority for people everywhere. Cities’ shocks – including earthquakes, terrorist attacks, floods and storms – compounded with chronic stresses – aging infrastructure, chronic diseases and climate change – are challenging cities to rethink how they grow, prepare for the future, and work to meet their citizens’ needs.

To meet diverse urban resilience demands, cities need access to proven expertise, financial models, and technical and analytic tools. Innovators from the private and public sectors, civil society, and academia are busy deploying solutions around the world every day. 100 RC’s Platform Team identifies thought- and practice-leaders so that cities can access impactful solutions more easily and efficiently, and so that effective solutions can scale to multiple cities.

Our new platform partners come from five countries from Latin America, North America, Oceania, and Southeast Asia, and will offer services in more than 10 languages. Here’s why these organizations made it onto the Platform, and what they will bring to our cities:

City Heroes: City Heroes is a bright new technology company using web-based platforms to facilitate real time reporting on city resilience challenges and responses. City Heroes is providing 100RC cities with the “Resilience Monitor,” a cloud-based web dashboard that allows administrators to manage, answer, and track reports and responses to those reports of problems. Chief Resilience Officers and local authorities can access key metrics and analytics that will help with decision making, improve the communication and collaboration between neighbors and authorities, and help reduce fatalities and opportunistic crimes during emergencies.

CSIRO: The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation is Australia’s national science agency and one of the world’s largest and most diverse research organizations. CSIRO will provide technical guidance to integrate climate adaptation, disaster risk reduction, and low-carbon development in city resilience plans, using its own future climate information based on global circulation models. It will develop methodology, technical guidelines, and decision support system tools to be tailored to cities’ need for urban planning, building, and infrastructure design/development, in order to mitigate future climate and disaster risks. CSIRO will also train cities to enhance their knowledge of methodology and technical guidelines and empower local implementation and ownership of tools.

New Starlight Foundation: The Foundation is the non-profit arm of the New Star Light Construction Company – a progressive developer of sustainable urban environments in Mandalay and emerging cities and towns of Upper Myanmar and the Upper Mekong Delta. The Foundation will provide financing for capacity building and collaboration about resilient infrastructure amongst public sector, academia, private sector, and civil society actors.

Population and Community Development Association: With over 30 years’ experience, PDA is one of Thailand’s oldest and most dynamic NGOs. PDA’s programs are based on the belief that local people are best suited to shape and sustain their own development. PDA is best known for its family planning efforts which today cover over one third of the country, helping to lower the national population growth rate from 3.2% to 1%. PDA will provide cities in Southeast Asia with training and technical assistance to improve family planning, promote urban–rural youth leadership, and enhance community water supply, and sanitation services.

World Cares Center: A New York based organization, WCC was founded shortly after 9/11 by community volunteers in New York City, who saw a need to bring together various agencies and community-based organizations in a safe and collaborative environment. WCC empowers communities to respond efficiently to disasters through training and coordination. World Cares will provide cities access to three training courses: Ready Responders; Leading & Managing; and Disaster Volunteerism Training to optimize volunteer contributions to disasters. World Cares Center will provide in person and on-line resources for cities.

We are thrilled to welcome these partners to our Platform. 100RC is moving quickly to provide our cities with access to new partner services to contribute to the essential and challenging process of building city resilience.