Glasgow Appoints UK's First Chief Resilience Officer
5 Sep 2014
Glasgow City Council has appointed Alastair Brown as Chief Resilience Officer (CRO), a new position created to lead city-wide resilience building efforts to help prepare for, withstand and bounce back from catastrophic events and chronic stresses.
As Chief Resilience Officer, Alastair will oversee the development and implementation of a resilience plan for the city. In Glasgow, challenges include extreme weather such as storms and flooding caused by climate change; securing sustainable and affordable energy supplies amid increasing pressure on the national grid and tackling poverty.
Appointing a CRO is an essential element of Glasgow's resilience building partnership with 100 Resilient Cities - pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation.
100 Resilient Cities (100RC) is the Rockefeller Foundation's $100m+ commitment to build urban resilience in 100 cities around the world. Glasgow's engagement with 100RC kicked off in April with a Resilience Workshop, and under Alastair's leadership, the city is now poised to take the next step in its resilience planning. His post will be fully funded by 100RC.
Alastair will lead a six to nine month effort to develop a roadmap to resilience for Glasgow bringing together stakeholders from across government, business and communities. He will receive personnel and technical support provided by 100RC and use resilience building tools from private, public, and non-government sector organisations partnered with 100RC.
The CRO is an innovative feature of 100RC's resilience building program, specifically designed to break down existing cross sector and departmental barriers, account for pre-existing resilience plans, and create partnerships, alliances and financing mechanisms that will address the resilience vulnerabilities of all city residents, with a particular focus on low-income and vulnerable populations.
Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Sustainable Glasgow, said: "I'm delighted to announce the appointment of Glasgow's Chief Resilience Officer. Alastair's experience managing Sustainable Glasgow makes him the ideal person to take our city's resilience planning to a whole new level.
"The support and expertise of the Rockefeller Foundation will prove invaluable in work to safeguard the city from the stresses and challenges we all face globally. Alastair's appointment is pivotal to that agenda. It is no mean feat but I'm sure he will hit the ground running as he is well acquainted with the array of sustainability projects underway in the city."
Judith Rodin, Rockefeller Foundation President, said: "In a rapidly urbanising world, cities cannot afford to remain crisis-driven and reactive. Cities like Glasgow are at the forefront of fostering a resilience mindset that will be critical to proactively managing the inevitable challenges, shocks and stresses all cities will face."
Michael Berkowitz, President of 100 Resilient Cities at the Rockefeller Foundation, said: "Alastair joins a network of peers from cities across the globe which will share best practices and surface innovative thinking. He will become a global leader in resilience and will be a tool both for Glasgow and other cities around the world."
Alastair is Head of Sustainability at Glasgow City Council. He manages Sustainable Glasgow - a public-private partnership providing strategy on key sustainable projects. These include energy planning for Glasgow, sustainable transport, the greening of Glasgow, developing the green jobs market and skills training in Glasgow. It also has a number of organisations working with communities on reducing carbon emissions and combating climate change.
Resilient Glasgow will become a key part of Sustainable Glasgow - taking current areas of work and building in long term planning, for example, in helping Glasgow to plan ahead to cope with the effects of climate change.
Alastair has been employed by the city council since 1993 and previously worked in the community health field in the east end of Glasgow. As well as Sustainable Glasgow, his responsibilities include all aspects of environmental regulation, carbon management and Bereavement Services in Glasgow. Recently, he has been involved in directing Future City Glasgow - the £24m programme demonstrating the use of smart technology to advance cities in areas such as transport, travel and energy and which opens data to business and the public.
Alastair was educated at Strathclyde University in Environmental Health then completed a Masters in Public Health at Glasgow University. He is a former President of the environmental charity, Environmental Protection Scotland.