Los Angeles at Night

Lessons from 700 Resilient Cities Applications

Through two rounds of the 100 Resilient Cities Challenge, we have received over 700 applications from nearly 600 cities (some applied twice). This trove of data shows us what cities perceive as their biggest challenges and priorities. We offered insight into this information after the first round of applications, and now that we’ve received another 331 applications, we’re happy to offer an additional five conclusions about how cities perceive resilience and their situations.

1. A diverse array of cities from both rounds is interested in city resilience.

38% of applying cities were “small,” with populations of 50,000 to 250,000; 27% were “medium sized,” with 250,000 to 500,000 people; 33% were “large,” with 500,000 to ten million people; and 2% were “mega cities,” with populations over 10 million.

Applications came from six continents and 93 countries, and were submitted in seven languages – English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, Arabic, and Russian.


2. The majority of cities are not “most prepared” for what they think are their top shocks and stresses.

In addition to listing their “top shocks” and “top stresses,” applicants in the second round were asked to identify the shock and the stress for which they are most prepared. 63% of respondents said that their top shock is not the one for which they are most prepared, while 79% said the same of their top stress.


3. Flooding and aging infrastructure are the chief concerns for many cities from both rounds.



4. Cities thinking about how to address their resilience challenges are very likely to have experienced a recent, major shock.

Of the 331 cities that applied in 2014 who were asked about their most significantshock, 73% indicated that they have experienced a major shock in the past 10 years.


5. Recognition of the importance of city resilience is increasing in developing countries.

The majority of cities that applied in both years is from developing countries, for a total of 61% of all applications. However, that percentage rose by seven percent from round one to round two.

Aerial view of Kigali, Oledoe, Flickr

Beyond offering insight into how potential member cities perceive their resilience challenges, aggregating and analyzing this data helps us inform the marketplace of urban resilience tool and service providers to support the global practice of resilience in cities.