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Six Great Ideas from the National Disaster Resilience Building Competition

Samuel Carter - Former Managing Director, The Rockefeller Foundation
National Disaster Resilience Breakout Sessions
The Minnesota team discussing their resilience challenges.

The National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC), an innovative partnership between the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and The Rockefeller Foundation, is already bearing fruit—even before the selection of any finalists or winners. Listed below, in no particular order, are six examples of innovative and substantial steps that communities around the country are taking to create—and maintain—a culture of resilience.

Here’s how these six places are building more resilient communities:

1. Tuscaloosa, AL, Office of Resiliency and Special Projects

Tuscaloosa is planning to transform its Department of Recovery Operations into the Office of Resiliency and Special Projects and appoint a Chief Resiliency Officer, who will equip the city with a better understanding of modern shocks and stresses and how these can be magnified by extreme events.

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2. The State of Colorado Resiliency Framework

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has adopted a resilience framework that is now moving into implementation. The state collected feedback from communities, local governments, housing authorities, chambers of commerce, foundations and other additional stakeholders—all leading to the final framework that was submitted to the Governor in March, provides a resource for cultivating a culture of resilience at the local level.

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3. Northeastern Illinois Resilience Partnership

The City of Chicago, Cook County, DuPage County, and the State of Illinois have created a multi-jurisdictional, bipartisan partnership to build resilience in Northeastern Illinois called the Northeastern Illinois Resilience Partnership. During the first stage of the competition, the partnership hosted a series of neighborhood workshops to address the region’s resilience to incidents of extreme weather, especially rainstorms that cause floods and related damage. The partnership works at both the community and regional scale in order to build resilience in “most vulnerable communities, while also making transformative infrastructural and institutional changes,” throughout the region.

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4. Moore, Oklahoma, Department of Resiliency

As a part of their NDRC application, Moore, Oklahoma has created a Department of Resiliency located in the city manager’s office, with dedicated staff members to oversee the implementation of their resilience projects. Moore has moved its six-person disaster programs team out of the Community Development and Planning Department and into the city manager’s office, where they will be able to coordinate and integrate with other departments more effectively.

5. Minot, North Dakota

The City of Minot has appointed City Planner Donna Bye as its first Chief Resilience Officer.  Bye will work with city departments and community members to “maximize innovation and minimize the impact of unforeseen events.”  CRO Donna Bye sees her new role as “someone who engages community stakeholders, listens to them and empowers them to become adaptable.”  Through her work she plans to help the community implement a long-term plan and vision, while also taking short-term steps to maintain the quality of life for her community.

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6. State of Minnesota Resilience Steering Committee

In order to create a smooth management process that can build regional resilience, Minnesota is pulling together a Resilience Steering Committee, which will select projects for incorporation into a NDRC final application, oversee the overall project implementation, develop a long-term resilience work plan, and work with partners to establish opportunities for leverage, policy implementation, and cross-sector partnerships.

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We look forward to sharing more success stories as the competition progresses!

For more information:

National Disaster Resilience Competition

Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Academies

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