(New York City, May 7, 2020) - Global urban communities are experiencing the dramatic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic; 95% of infected people live in cities. Urban citizens and in particular the poor are deeply affected by both the effects of containment measures and the further exacerbation of chronic stresses, like access to water and sanitation services, adequate jobs and safe and healthy food.
“While cities are working to respond to this pandemic, we are seeing an overwhelming demand from cities to work together on a resilient recovery – and to fix the broken systems that exacerbated the impacts of the virus on our vulnerable communities. The members of the Global Resilient Cities Network trust one another’s knowledge and experience and we are committed to making this available to address the complex challenges of COVID-19, the resilience challenge of our generation.” said Lauren Sorkin, Acting Executive Director of GRCN.
Responding to the imperative to mobilize collective action for a better “day after” COVID-19, on May 7th Chief Resilience Officers from the Global Resilient Cities Network are launching a global Coalition to support cities to strengthen the resilience of their city systems and leave no one behind as they stand on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The principle of a resilient recovery is simple: as we rebuild from the current crisis, we must also prepare for future shocks. Both COVID-19 and climate change are massive challenges that require transformative solutions on a global scale. This network will provide an invaluable forum for cities around the world to grow stronger together through sustained partnership and collaboration,” said Jainey Bavishi, Director of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Resiliency.
The “Cities for a Resilient Recovery” (C2R) initiative offers a participatory platform to all interested cities, including the 98 member cities of the GRCN and other urban centers that are willing to engage in short- and long-term planning for a sustained resilient recovery.
“As city practitioners, we have been working together for over six years, sharing knowledge and experiences to build coalitions to protect vulnerable communities, enabling us to turn challenges and crises into opportunities. We look forward to building on this work and our collaborations across businesses, governments, civil society, and academia. We will be sharing both more deeply within the network as well as broadening efforts beyond our network.” said Toby Kent, Chief Resilience Officer, Melbourne.
Through GRCN, C2R will align partners like World Bank, the Rockefeller Foundation, and The University of Manchester, existing programs and resources to support cities to achieve the aims of their initiatives, and to prioritize actions and investments with the highest resilience value. By offering accessible and relevant data, and planning tools and expertise, it will enable urban resilience leaders and innovators to seize this opportunity to strengthen city systems and improve the lives of millions for years to come.
“This pandemic has highlighted the importance of collaboration to address systemic vulnerabilities at a city level. This inclusive initiative will enable access to knowledge and information, to act today and build a better future for urban global communities.” said Grainia Long, Commissioner for Resilience of the city of Belfast.
As city leaders around the world are already talking about building a resilient future, we invite them to join the Coalition to work together in the resilience challenge of our time.
To learn more and join the Coalition visit: www.resilientcitiesnetwork.org/recovery
About the Global Resilient Cities Network
The Global Resilient Cities Network (GRCN) is the city-led organization that is driving urban resilience action to protect vulnerable communities from climate change and other physical, social and economic urban adversities and challenges. With support from The Rockefeller Foundation and other funding strategic partners, the Network aims to continue supporting cities and their Chief Resilience Officers in future-proofing their communities and critical infrastructure with a unique reach, strength and legacy to understand and support the challenges of the ever-growing urban society.