100 Resilient Cities Opens London Office to Oversee Operations in Europe & Middle East



London, UK (1 July 2015) – 100 Resilient Cities – pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) – today announced the opening of their regional headquarters in London to serve member cities in Europe, and the Middle East. 100 RC also announced new partnerships with  AIR Worldwide and  Esri. 100RC is dedicated to helping cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century, including UK member cities London, Bristol and Glasgow. The move comes less than six months after  London was named part of the presently 67-city global network. 

Commenting on the new office opening, Michael Berkowitz, President of 100RC said, “We’re delighted to be expanding our operations with the opening of 100 Resilient Cities’ London office. London is an important member of our global network, and this move will further strengthen our organization’s ability to partner with member cities across Europe and the Middle East.”

President Michael Berkowitz and Cristiana Fragola,
Regional Director for Europe and
the Middle East present at office opening.

London’s membership in the 100RC network provides significant benefits to the city, as with all 100RC member cities, as the city moves to address its possible shocks, like terrorism, and current stresses, like cyber-security, social cohesion, infrastructure failure and lack of affordable housing. Each city in the 100RC network receives four concrete supports:

• Financial and logistical guidance for establishing an innovative new position in city government, a  Chief Resilience Officer, who will lead the city’s resilience efforts;
• Expert support for development of a robust resilience strategy;
• Access to solutions, service providers, and  partners from the private, public and NGO sectors who can help them develop and implement their resilience strategies; and
• Membership of a global network of member cities who can learn from and help each other.

The new regional headquarters, housed at Future Cities Catapult’s  Urban Innovation Centre, was officially opened today by 100RC President Michael Berkowitz and Cristiana Fragola, Regional Director, Europe and Middle East for 100RC. Attending the opening were numerous partners from the government, public, and private sectors.

Vice President for Relationships Bryna Lipper,
President Michael Berkowitz, Regional Director for Europe
and the Middle East Cristiana Fragola,
and COO Andrew Salkin cut the new office's ribbon. 

In addition to the launch of 100RC’s London office, two new private sector partnerships were announced with Esri and AIR Worldwide. Based in Redlands, Calif., Esri will assist 100RC member cities in building resilience through use of geographic information systems (GIS), mapping and location analysis. Esri will provide qualified cities with the ArcGIS platform, along with technical assistance and guidance for cities to implement these tools.

“Geospatial technology serves as a key platform to connect cities and governments with private organizations and citizens to address their vulnerabilities and increase their overall resiliency,” said Esri president Jack Dangermond. “We’re proud to support 100RC’s mission of increasing resiliency and better adapting to challenges in the 21st century.”

AIR Worldwide will provide member cities with catastrophe modelling services and training in catastrophe risk analysis and modelling, strengthening cities’ approaches to utilizing data to build resilience. AIR models and services support more informed data-driven decisions, enabling cities to revisit their budget priorities to more appropriately prepare them for the financial and societal shocks of catastrophes.

“AIR has a long history of helping insurers, government agencies, and corporations quantify, manage, and mitigate their risk from catastrophes,” said Ming Lee, President and CEO of AIR Worldwide. “AIR is extremely pleased that our partnership with 100 Resilient Cities will allow individual cities to leverage the latest developments in catastrophe modeling and research to improve their physical, financial, and societal resilience.”

Celebrating the announcement today, Berkowitz noted, “Cities can’t build resilience out of thin air, and one of 100 Resilient Cities’ key offerings is partnerships with private and public sector partners to better enable cities to plan, adapt and build resilience,” remarked Berkowitz. “We are so pleased to be able to continue growing the suite of tools and services available to cities with the partnership announcements with AIR Worldwide and Esri, especially on a day when our organization marked a significant expansion.”

About 100 Resilient Cities - Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation, and the 100 Resilient Cities Challenge

100 Resilient Cities - Pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) is dedicated to helping cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. 100RC supports the adoption and incorporation of a view of resilience that includes not just the shocks – earthquakes, fires, floods, etc – but also the stresses that weaken the fabric of a city on a day to day or cyclical basis. Examples of these stresses include high unemployment; an overtaxed or inefficient public transportation system; endemic violence; or chronic food and water shortages. By addressing both the shocks and the stresses, a city becomes more able to respond to adverse events, and is overall better able to deliver basic functions in both good times and bad, to all populations. 

Cities in the 100RC network are provided with the resources necessary to develop a roadmap to resilience along four main pathways: 1) Financial and logistical guidance for establishing an innovative new position in city government, a Chief Resilience Officer, who will lead the city’s resilience efforts; 2) expert support for development of a robust resilience strategy; 3) Connecting member cities to solutions, service providers, and other partners who can help them develop and implement their resilience strategies; and 4) Membership in a global network of member cities who can learn from and help each other. Through these actions, 100RC aims not only help individual cities become more resilient, but will facilitate the building of a global practice of resilience among governments, NGOs, the private sector, and individual citizens. 

The 100 Resilient Cities Challenge was launched in 2013 as a $100 million commitment to build urban resilience. Officials or leaders or major institutions from over 700 cities have applied to the Challenge. The first cohort of 32 cities were announced in December 2013, and 100RC announced their second cohort of 35 cities in December 2014. Information on the Challenge itself is available here:  www.100resilientcities.org/challenge.

100RC is financially supported by The Rockefeller Foundation and managed as a sponsored project by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA), an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides governance and operational infrastructure to its sponsored projects.

Learn more about 100RC at  www.100resilientcities.org and RPA at www.rockpa.org

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  www.rockefellerfoundation.org.


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