Some 50 percent of the world’s population now live in urban cities. In view of this and as part of its centennial year initiatives, the Rockefeller Foundation is focusing their attention on improving service delivery in urban settings. Their 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge initiative officially opened on the 5th of August. The goal, in the words of the foundation’s President Judith Rodin, is to enable city dwellers to “rebound more quickly, perhaps fail more safely, to be able to withstand shocks and not have them really create the kind of devastation we’re seeing at present time.”
The challenge invites municipal government leaders and major institutions that have strong affiliations with a particular city to register and apply before the 23rd September. Applicants need to submit a letter of support from an elected or most senior appointed representative of the city. A total of $100 million will be made available over the next three years.
The Rockefeller Foundation is also launching an official website for the Challenge, inviting individuals to join a global conversation on urban resilience and what we can all do to make our cities places of growth and opportunity both now and in the future. With this new site, they invite cities around the world to register to apply for the challenge, with the aim of fostering a lively global conversation on urban resiliency.
UCLG is strongly engaged on this matter as partner and member of the steering committee of the Making Cities Resilient Campaign lead by UNISDR to which more than 1,600 Local Governments have joined, committing to making their cities and localities resilient to natural hazards. The Making cities Resilient: “my City is getting ready” Campaign, launched in May 2010, addresses issues of local governance and urban risks.
The Centenary of the Rockefeller Foundation coincides with the Centenary of the International Municipal Movement in which the Foundation has played a key role from its early creation right up to and including today’s centennial challenge. To honour the key figures and actions of the municipal movement, UCLG is preparing a large-scale exhibition to be displayed at the forthcoming Congress in Rabat. We will also give focus to the future of our cities by addressing key topics like resilience, urbanisation and the right to the city in a bid to forge the path toward another century of successful municipal action.
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