When Hurricane Sandy made landfall two years ago, it wreaked unprecedented havoc on the eastern coast of the United States. Transit systems, personal property, and a sense of the invincibility of our infrastructure were each victims of the storm.
In an effort to help cities prepare for environmental threats like Sandy—and the accompanying economic and social challenges such natural disasters pose—the New York–based nonprofit 100 Resilient Cities, financed exclusively by the Rockefeller Foundation, has begun funding chief resilience officers (CROs) in a selection of 100 cities around the world. From Ashkelon, Israel, to Vejle, Denmark—and places much farther afield—these representatives will identify key policymakers, potential private-sector partners, and others who can effect change. This week, those CROs are conferring in New Orleans, another city in the network, to talk strategy and share ideas at the organization’s first summit.
New York, one of the first urban centers added to the 100 Resilient Cities network, recently announced the winners of Rebuild by Design, a competition to devise ways to help protect the city’s harbor from future storms. AD Innovators Bjarke Ingels (2011), Diana Balmori (2013), and Kate Orff (2014) each created proposals that received important commissions, alongside some of the most inventive design firms working today. It’s the hope of the Rockefeller Foundation, a partner of that competition, that ideas generated in New York can be scaled and repurposed for other 100 Resilient Cities members.
Another round of 100 Resilient Cities inductions will take place on December 3.