Rockefeller Foundation Awards 2nd Round of Resilient Cities Winners

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December 3, 2014; ABC News (Associated Press)

ABC News reports on an international public-private partnership between cities across the globe and the New York-based Rockefeller Foundation. It is part of a growing trend of private philanthropy funding public sector innovation, in this case focused on local municipal government.

Thirty-five cities from Accra, Ghana, to Wellington, New Zealand, are receiving funding by Rockefeller to develop ideas on physical, social and economic resilience. The foundation announced the latest winners of its 100 Resilient Cities contest in conjunction with a summit in Singapore. It has committed $100 million to the effort, with the idea that the cities selected will be models for others.

This year’s winners range as far north as Montreal and as far south as Sydney, says ABC. The U.S. has the most, with six cities in the continental U.S. and one in Puerto Rico (Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Tulsa, and San Juan). There also are multiple winners in China and India.

The program finances a “chief resilience officer” position for each city to address challenges ranging from increasing threats of flooding to growing strains on health systems. The cities also get technical help with planning and implementing their strategies.

“Cities are learning that by building resilience, not only will they be better prepared for the bad times, but also life is better in the good times, especially for the poor and vulnerable,” Rockefeller Foundation President Judith Rodin told the network.

About 30 other cities were named last year, and more applications will be taken in the future. U.S. cities selected in the first round include Berkeley, Boulder, El Paso, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Norfolk, Oakland and San Francisco. (As NPQ readers may recall, the city of Alameda, California, was also among those winners until the Foundation revoked their grant a few months later.)—Larry Kaplan