Christchurch City Council has appointed Mike Gillooly, the Council’s Land Drainage Operations Manager as Chief Resilience Officer (CRO), a new position created to lead city-wide resilience efforts to help prepare for, withstand and bounce back from catastrophic events and chronic stresses.
As Chief Resilience Officer, Mr Gillooly will work closely with the Mayor of Christchurch Lianne Dalziel to oversee the development and implementation of a resilience plan for the city.
Appointing a CRO is an essential element of Christchurch’s participation in the 100 Resilient Cities Network, a position for which Christchurch applied and was selected from nearly 400 cities worldwide. The network is supported by 100 Resilience Cities – pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation, and is part of a $100 million effort to build urban resilience in cities around the world. Christchurch’s engagement with 100 Resilient Cities kicked off in March with a Resilience Agenda Workshop, and following Mike Gillooly’s appointment, the city is poised to take the next step in its resilience planning.
Building resilience is about making people, communities, and systems better prepared to withstand catastrophic events – both natural and manmade – and more able to bounce back quickly and stronger. Examples of shocks and stresses would include earthquakes, financial crises, chronic homelessness, economic inequality and weather events. 100 Resilient Cities is dedicated to supporting cities to adopt and incorporate a resilience mindset in their planning, development, and community-building so that they are better prepared for and can quickly rebound from 21st century shocks and stresses.
Christchurch was selected as one of 33 cities in the first group of cities worldwide in this new initiative.
Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel says Mike Gillooly’s appointment to this key role in the city shows resilience is a concept that transcends the role of infrastructure; it includes enabling communities to do things for themselves.
“We saw the competence of communities after the earthquakes. We will build on that,”Lianne Dalziel says.
“Mike Gillooly is a leader as shown in the approach in the Flooding Taskforce whereby he has broken down the silos. His proactive action in dealing with the threat of flooding last weekend was the proof in the pudding.”
The position of CRO is an innovative feature of 100 Resilient Cities. The role ensures attention to planning and implementation will be promoted at the highest levels of city government. The CRO will engage all sectors, including city officials, business leaders, civic organisations and academia in the resilience planning process. The CRO will create partnerships, alliances and financing mechanisms that will address the needs of all city residents, and especially low-income and vulnerable populations, who are often hit hardest by shocks like natural disasters and chronic economic downturns.
“In a rapidly urbanising world, cities cannot afford to remain crisis-driven and reactive,” says Rockefeller Foundation President Judith Rodin.
“Cities like Christchurch 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.
“Mike Gillooly joins a network of peers from cities across the globe that will share best practices and surface innovative thinking,” says Michael Berkowitz, Managing Director for 100 Resilient Cities at The Rockefeller Foundation.
Mike Gillooly Bio:
Mike Gillooly is currently the Land Drainage Operations Manager at the Christchurch City Council responsible for seven staff. He has more than 20 years experience in local government and consulting in the private sector. His cross sector project management experience spans local and central government and includes Land Information New Zealand, the Earthquake Commission, the Ministry of Building Innovation and Employment and the Insurance Council of New Zealand.
He has a strong local government background in engineering and resource management planning. He has delivered several successful initiatives including the complete review of Council’s Infrastructure Design Standards and the post earthquake development and implementation of the Land Drainage Recovery Programme which is a $10.6 million investigation that will inform and define the $179 million earthquake recovery programme.
About 100 Resilient Cities—Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation
100 Resilient Cities - Pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) is dedicated to helping cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. 100RC supports the adoption and incorporation of a view of resilience that includes not just the shocks – earthquakes, fires, floods, etc – but also the stresses that weaken the fabric of a city on a day to day or cyclical basis. Examples of these stresses include high unemployment; an overtaxed or inefficient public transportation system; endemic violence; or chronic food and water shortages. By addressing both the shocks and the stresses, a city becomes more able to respond to adverse events, and is overall better able to deliver basic functions in both good times and bad, to all populations.
Cities in the 100RC network are provided with the resources along four main pathways:
1) Financial and logistical guidance for establishing an innovative new position in city government, a Chief Resilience Officer, who will lead the city’s resilience efforts;
2) Expert support for development of a robust resilience building strategy;
3) Access to solutions, service providers, and partners from the private, public and NGO sectors who can help them develop and implement their resilience strategies; and
4) Membership in a global network of member cities who can learn from and help each other. Through these offerings, 100RC aims not only help individual cities become more resilient, but to facilitate the creation of a global practice of resilience building.
100 Resilient Cities—Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation is financially supported by The Rockefeller Foundation and managed as a sponsored project by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA), an independent non-profit organisation that provides governance and operational infrastructure to its sponsored projects.
Learn more about 100RC at www.100resilientcities.org and RPA at www.rockpa.org.
About The Rockefeller Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation aims to achieve equitable growth by expanding opportunity for more people in more places worldwide, and to build resilience by helping them prepare for, withstand, and emerge stronger from acute shocks and chronic stresses. Throughout its 100 year history, The Rockefeller Foundation has enhanced the impact of innovative thinkers and actors working to change the world by providing the resources, networks, convening power, and technologies to move them from idea to impact. In today's dynamic and interconnected world, The Rockefeller Foundation has a unique ability to address the emerging challenges facing humankind through innovation, intervention and influence in order to shape agendas and inform decision making. For more information, please visit www.rockefellerfoundation.org.