Mayor Hidalgo and 100RC Officially Unveil Paris Resilience Strategy; Announce Metropolitan Resilience Approach

Contact:

City of Paris: Chloé Humpich / presse@paris.fr
100 Resilient Cities: Andrew Brenner / ABrenner@100rc.org

With 35 actions, the Paris Resilience Strategy aims to better prepare the city and its residents for major shocks and stresses in both the short- and long-term.

The Strategy was developed following broad consultation of key actors and institutions throughout the city, led by Chief Resilience Officer Sébastien Maire.

PARIS – Today, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) officially unveiled the city’s Resilience Strategy. The unveiling came after the Paris City Council unanimously approved the Strategy on 25 September. The city’s first Resilience Strategy is a roadmap to better prevent and adapt the city to the challenges of the 21st century, which include extreme climate events such as major floods or heat waves, terrorist threats, and long-term chronic stresses such as poor air quality, scarcity of resources, or the migration crisis.

Often at the vanguard of important change, Paris joins 32 other cities around the world who have taken this critical step – planning for tomorrow’s challenges, while helping to lead a global resilience revolution. This Strategy is rich with innovative and multipurpose initiatives, like those that tackle climate challenges while simultaneously seeking to build social cohesion.

Importantly, this Strategy seeks impact on a metropolitan scale – beyond the border of the city itself.  This was further reinforced by an agreement, signed today by Mayor Hidalgo and her counterparts at the French Rural Mayors Association and the Greater Paris Metropolitan Authority, to cooperatively implement the vision of the Strategy.

Led by Paris Chief Resilience Officer Sébastien Maire and his team, the Resilience Strategy proposes an integrated vision in response to various urban vulnerabilities – an approach inclusive of residents, public institutions, and the private sector.  Paris joins New York, Mexico City, Medellín and many others among the cities of the 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) network, which have adopted this new approach to urban development.

“Faced with the great challenges of the 21st century, and above all climate change, we have a duty to anticipate. The very functioning of our city must be questioned: our flexibility, our ability to learn from past crises to better anticipate those that may arise, our capacity to think systemically in order to multiply the benefits. This is the objective of this Resilience Strategy, which we had to build with inhabitants, associations, companies and researchers, in a very horizontal and very agile approach. This collective work will continue with the implementation of the 35 chosen actions that aim to offer Parisians the best possible future,” said Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris.

“Throughout its history, Paris has demonstrated its capacity to emerge from events such as the centennial flood of 1910 or the terrorist attacks of 2015, demonstrating the tremendous resilience of the city and its inhabitants,” said Michael Berkowitz, President of 100 Resilient Cities. “During the development of this Strategy, Paris was able to interact with other cities that are members of the 100RC network, including New Orleans, Rotterdam, Athens, Bangkok and Santiago de Chile. This sharing of experiences is all the more important as many issues are shared between these cities.”

Among the key initiatives in the Resilience Strategy is a pioneering effort to battle heat waves and the urban heat island effect through an innovative green infrastructure pilot program. Under the proposal in the Strategy, the City of Paris will begin creating green space and infrastructure in the courtyards of the city’s schools. The courtyards would serve as cooling oases during heatwaves, reduce urban flooding risk through better water capture, and provide the community with open space and meeting points to better emphasize social capital. A pilot program will launch in 2018, with the goal of creating more than 600,000 sq. meters of green space.

The Resilience Strategy of Paris was drafted with extensive consultation throughout the city with a wide range of actors. Built on this input, the Strategy contains 35 actions, organized around 3 key pillars:

  • An inclusive and supportive city, which supports its residents, prepares them to face major crises and the difficulties of everyday life, and invites them to collaboratively provide input for future decision-making. Among the key actions of this pillar, the Strategy foresees the setting up of solidarity and voluntary citizens’ networks in all districts to help crisis management, the deployment of a large training system for first aid, and facilitating the occupancy of urban spaces by the inhabitants for festivities and temporary projects of celebration and solidarity.
  • A city developed and built to meet the challenges of the 21st Century, notably by anticipating risks and adapting infrastructures to climate risk, changing needs, and uses. The actions of this pillar concentrate on the evolution of how infrastructure is built, management of the city in the face of major floods or repeated heat waves, proposing to design modular public spaces and facilities capable of accommodating uses or to develop new uses (basements, roofs, etc.).
  • A city that mobilizes collective intelligence and cooperates with other territories, particularly rural ones, by promoting innovative partnerships to better understand risks, prepare for and promote the development of a local and circular economy, as well as short and environmentally friendly mobility. This pillar foresees the creation of a resource and resilience research platform, collaboration with digital and innovation actors to generate shared knowledge, and strengthening the resilience of municipal government, with a focus on IT and digital infrastructure.

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.