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Good For Business

New taxi cabs in a lot as flood waters recede on October 31, 2012 in Hoboken, New Jersey.

Resilience isn’t only a necessity for cities to withstand and bounce back from disasters. It’s also good for business.

In an op-ed in the Guardian yesterday, Rockefeller Foundation President Judith Rodin makes the business case for resilience and explains why public-private partnerships are an essential element of a truly resilient city.

“Private capital must be part of the (urban resilience) equation, and not just as a moral imperative, but for the continuity of business operations,” she writes.

In the post, Rodin outlines the three ways in which the private sector can play an active role in ensuring urban resilience.

One way is through innovative financing and public-private partnerships for infrastructure. For example, in the United States, several western states have organized a regional infrastructure exchange that seeks private investment in shared public works projects, such as water systems, transportation and electric grids.

Another way is manufacturing or offering products and services that enhance individual resilience. In Asia, Intellecap manages a funding facility to engage the private sector to support the growth of businesses, such as micro-insurance, affordable housing, health care, and renewable energy, which will enable the urban poor to build resilience to climate change.

A third way is for businesses to build their own resilience – and that of their workforce – to potential crises in the larger community. This means moving beyond contingency plans to keep the office running to ensuring gasoline, food supplies, and shelter is available for employees critical to those processes. This has wider benefits – prolonged economic losses erode the tax base and can lead to layoffs down the road, both of which can further exacerbate the vulnerabilities of the population.

Read Judith Rodin’s full post.

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