The Urban Resilience Summit: Innovation, Investment, Collaboration

A version of this article also appeared on the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network.

Urban Resilience Summit
Rockefeller Foundation President Judith Rodin at the Urban Resilience Summit. (Photo credit: Chris Pics)

“No single government or organization can go it alone, and 90 percent of executives in the private sector already acknowledge industry’s role in resilience building.”

Some of Asia’s most respected business leaders, policymakers and resilience experts came together in Singapore for The Urban Resilience Summit (URS), to identify the most innovative approaches to invest for the future, and to learn from those cities taking action and benefiting from urban resilience. The event served as an important dialogue on the need for greater action in urban climate change resilience. While some economies have proven robust and resilient during the global downturn, economic strength is under constant threat.

For this reason, it is important to highlight and promote success stories, and to develop resilience networks that share with others. At the Summit, President Rodin announced the next group of 35 cities to join the 100 Resilient Cities network. This growing network supports urban centers around the world in their efforts to ready and respond to social, economic, and physical shocks and stresses that are a growing part of the 21st century. Over 800 cities’ mayors wrote strong letters of support to apply for this honor in 2014.

In her speech, President Rodin said,

“Members of the 100 Resilient Cities network are leading the world in showing that not only is it possible to build urban resilience in every kind of city, but it’s an imperative. Cities are learning that by building resilience, not only will they be better prepared for the bad times, but also life becomes better in the good times, especially for the poor and vulnerable. It’s smart investment, and yields a resilience dividend that is a win for everyone.”

At the Summit, The Economist Intelligence Unit also provided a briefing to present the findings of a new urban resilience Pulse Survey on the issues and obstacles companies and communities face as they seek to build resilient cities. In this survey, leaders were asked how they rank urban threats such as climate change, the benefits of resilience and key obstacles to building resilience.

The day was full of open discussions that included panels, interactive sessions, and keynote interviews with high level and influential representatives from governments, international organizations, and the private sector. It was clear from these discussions that it is essential we continue to promote collaboration, between sectors and across regions, while ensuring that we engage every stakeholder. No single government or organization can go it alone, and 90 percent of executives in the private sector already acknowledge industry’s role in resilience building. It is crucial we continue building resilient networks and relationships that maximize the resilience dividend in communities around the world.

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