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Cities for Tomorrow: Announcing the Final 100 Resilient Cities Challenge

For cities, it’s no longer “if” they’ll be hit by a disruption, but when—and how long it will take for the city to get back on course.

But as I’ve said many times, not every disruption has to become a disaster. We can build our cities to be socially, physically, and economically resilient—to better prepare for and withstand a disruption, while transforming and growing in the face of both shocks—like earthquakes, fires, and floods—and  also the stresses that weaken the fabric of a city on a day to day or cyclical basis. And through those same investments, cities not only become future-proof, they become better places to live and work right now.

“Not every disruption has to become a disaster.”

They become more appealing places to do business, because companies aren’t as worried about the transit lines failing or supply chain disruption. They become healthier places, with more green space for recreation and more bike trails that cut down on traffic emissions. They redesign local governments to leverage a wider, data-driven online world.

These are all examples of what we call the resilience dividend.

And cities around the world are starting to benefit from their own resilience dividends including the 67 cities selected as part of our 100 Resilient Cities Challenge over the last two years.

Today, I was pleased to announce the opening of the third round of the Challenge at the New York Times Cities for Tomorrow Conference. Cities can now apply to become one of the final 33 cities to join this network—rounding out our 100.

Selected cities receive funding and support to run a comprehensive resilience strategy process and hire a Chief Resilience Officer to oversee its implementation. Cities also receive access to more than 50 Platform Partners—public and private sector entities who provide in-kind services to cities on issues as diverse as flood management and social impact bonds. And, they receive a valuable resource in each other, with the ability to tap into the expertise of 99 other cities in the 100RC Network. We believe this mix of supports helps address the complexities of cities of the future, and the challenges of scaling good ideas globally.

We are also pleased to announce that in addition to The Rockefeller Foundation’s $100 million commitment that we made when this all started in 2013, we’ll be upping our support another $64 million dollars, bringing the total amount we will invest in 100RC to $164 million, in addition to access to all the in kind goods and services on our Platform.

This is an exciting time to be part of 100RC, and the third round of the challenge is the last chance for engaged, energized cities to apply to be on the leading edge of this work with us. If that sounds like your city, head to to start an application. The application period will run through the end of November, and winners will be announced in Spring 2016.

Regardless of whether or not your city is an official 100RC, now is the time to build all of our cities to be not just future-proof, but future-ready, and more resilient to the shocks and stresses we are bound to face in the 21st century.

We’ll hope you’ll join us in unleashing this urban resilience age.


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