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‘Rebuild by Design’ Joins 100RC to Bring Collaborative Research & Design-Driven Approaches to Cities

The Award-Winning Approach Developed in the Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy will be Exported Around the Globe Under the Direction of 100RC Through this New Collaboration


NEW YORK—Rebuild by Design, the international design competition tasked with developing innovative plans to protect New York from another Superstorm Sandy, will now join 100 Resilient Cities (100RC), an organization pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation, to help export the cutting edge program to cities in the 100RC network around the globe.

By joining 100RC, Rebuild by Design will bring best-in-class design and research-driven processes to cities to ensure their long-term resilience. 100RC will direct and deploy the Rebuild by Design model under the new joint venture, and Rebuild by Design staff and management will participate as part of the 100RC prioritization process. This partnership will leverage Rebuild by Design’s successful rebuilding, recovery, and resilience approach, which incorporates experienced design and sustainability experts with community members and stakeholders when working to address the resilience challenges of 100RC member cities

Rebuild by Design, a partnership of The Rockefeller Foundation and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) launched a global design competition in 2013 to help develop viable and innovative strategies to better coastal and social resilience in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut region. Among the major projects to win the Rebuild by Design competition was the “Big U,” an eight-mile barrier around much of Manhattan to guard against flooding and act as parkland. A total of 10 projects were developed for this region.

“We are taking a highly successful model and exporting it to cities around the globe through 100 Resilient Cities,” said Dr. Judith Rodin, President of The Rockefeller Foundation, pioneer of 100 Resilient Cities and investor in Rebuild by Design. “Rebuild by Design worked for the New York region – bringing resilient solutions to a city, and surrounding area, in need. Under the leadership of 100 Resilient Cities, this effort will now impact cities around the globe. Through this venture, Rebuild by Design and 100 Resilient Cities are pioneering creativity and sharing best practices for building resilience, and this partnership furthers our joint efforts to provide best-in-class minds and practices to urban communities around the world – particularly for the poor and vulnerable.”

In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, Rebuild by Design brought together more than 500 organizations in cities and neighborhoods across the Metropolitan area, and facilitated a process of research and design that generated ten projects to build resilience and preserve vulnerable communities. In 2013, the Department of Housing and Urban Development allocated $920 million to implement the first phases of the winning projects. All six projects are moving forward.  Through this new partnership, 100RC hopes to replicate the success of Rebuild by Design in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, expanding its reach to 100RC network cities.

“Rebuild by Design is excited to bring the process developed with the hard work of thousands of individuals in the Hurricane Sandy region to the 100RC global network,” said Amy Chester, Managing Director of Rebuild by Design. “This collaboration will ensure Cities around the world address challenges in ways that are design-driven and equitable, as they confront today’s problems and plan for future risks.”

“One of the keys to building urban resilience is to take the most effective tools – tools that have worked in other places, and export them. That’s what we’ll be doing with Rebuild by Design,” said Michael Berkowitz, President of 100 Resilient Cities.  “Rebuild by Design takes some of the world’s foremost experts in a wide variety of fields, brings them together, and applies that expertise like a laser to a major city challenge, with proven results. We’re excited to give that tool to other cities.”

“Cities around the world are confronted with complex problems, water crises being at the core of it, and are in need of innovative solutions,” said Henk Ovink Special Envoy for International Water Affairs at Kingdom of the Netherlands and Principal of Rebuild by Design. “This powerful partnership will deliver a unique and innovative approach to guide Cities towards dealing with the future’s uncertainties.”

About 100 Resilient Cities—Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation
100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) helps cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social, and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. 100RC provides this assistance through: funding for a Chief Resilience Officer in each member city who will lead the resilience efforts; resources for drafting a resilience strategy; access to private sector, public sector, academic, and NGO resilience tools; and membership in a global network of peer cities to share best practices and challenges. 100RC currently has 67 member cities. For more information, visit:

About The Rockefeller Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation aims to achieve equitable growth by expanding opportunity for more people in more places worldwide, and to build resilience by helping them prepare for, withstand, and emerge stronger from acute shocks and chronic stresses. Throughout its 100 year history, The Rockefeller Foundation has enhanced the impact of innovative thinkers and actors working to change the world by providing the resources, networks, convening power, and technologies to move them from idea to impact. In today’s dynamic and interconnected world, The Rockefeller Foundation has a unique ability to address the emerging challenges facing humankind through innovation, intervention and influence in order to shape agendas and inform decision making. For more information, please visit

Rebuild by Design
Rebuild by Design marshals the talent of the world to answer a region’s greatest needs.  We convene stakeholders to create processes for systemic change that will transform our built environment in ways that are design-driven and equitable to address future risks and a changing climate while solving for today’s problems.

What was developed as competition in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Rebuild by Design marshals the talent of the world to answer a region’s greatest needs that brought together thousands of stakeholders who contributed to ten visionary design proposals that address the intersection of physical, social, and ecological resiliency.  Seven of those designs are in being implemented in the Northeast United States.

Today, Rebuild by Design keeps communities connected to the implementation of the designs in the Sandy region; explores changes needed in policy, regulation, and operations; and researches the best practices in developing resilience as it exports its process to other regions by helping government create processes to rethink resilience before disaster strikes.  To learn more visit