Resilient Cities Network: how can we build local resilience on the global scale?

Resilient Cities Network: how can we build local resilience on the global scale?

How can we promote localised resilience-building on a global scale? This is the big question that the Resilient Cities Network (RCN) is concerned with today! What room is there for resilience in the decision-making and day-to-day operations of cities around the world? To strive to turn disruption into an opportunity to evolve, to bounce forward and to build back better. Leon Kapetas, lead for RCN in Europe and the Middle East, spoke at UIC Barcelona to the Master Programme City Resilience Design & Management exactly about this matter.


What is the Resilient Cities Network?

 The RCN emerged from the 100 Resilient Cities Program (100RC) in 2019, as we explained in detail interviewing Braulio Morera last year. The 100RC started in 2013 with the Rockefeller Foundation funding two endeavours with a total budget of $164 million for 5 years. Firstly, they successfully promoted and advocated for the importance of urban resilience on a global scale. Secondly, they progressed a localised urban resilience agenda in the selected cities by developing a robust resilience strategy in each city, enacting a city resilience officer (CRO) in charge of releasing this strategy, and by incorporating each city in a global network of public/private partners, NGOs and of course the other member cities, in order to facilitate peer-to-peer learning.


The RCN is the city-led organisation that came forth from this global network, now comprising 97 member cities, most of which also took part in 100RC, and aims to continue supporting cities and their CRO’s in future-proofing their communities and critical infrastructure. The RCN, in similar fashion to 100RC, brings together global knowledge, practice, partnerships, and funding to empower the member cities to build a safer, more equitable, and sustainable future for all residents. The transition from 100RC to RCN happened quite abruptly, following a shift in the priorities of the Rockefeller Foundation. The Rockefeller Foundation’s new chair promised to focus on more measurable and short term impacts. The funding for 100RC was extensive, but the global city network was definitely the most valuable aspect to come out of this, which is why the RCN continued this work, only now with less funding and a more city-led approach.


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