What is 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.

The new GRCN emerges from the former 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) program, pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation, with an expanded partner base and will welcome up to 10 new members in 2020.

Currently, the GRCN is comprised of 97 member cities of the former 100RC program in 40 countries. Collectively representing 220 million city dwellers and 79 endorsed resilience strategies, containing over 4,000 city-led and impact-oriented resilience initiatives aimed at building safer and healthier cities.

Why is GRCN starting to focus on recovery now?

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, national and sub-national governments have to address immediate needs in terms of health, economic and social support. However, as Henry Kissinger rightly said: “the historic challenge for leaders is to manage the crisis while building the future”. Indeed, our network poll confirms that city leaders are well aware of the importance of reflective and proactive planning for resilient recovery from this crisis and 88% of our network city-members have already started recovery planning.

To address emerging gaps, cities across the network have articulated demand for a platform for sharing ideas, support with diagnostic tools and methods, and access to international partners to provide technical support in implementing solutions. Responding to the demand from cities we have consolidated our years of on-ground experience from Chief Resilience Officers (CROs) placed all over the world to make information and knowledge available for everyone, particularly decision-makers. We believe that transparency and co-creation in early planning can set the scene for resilience and recovery.

How to join Cities for a Resilient Recovery (C2R)?

If your city is interested in building back better together and starting to think about a new normal, you can go to the landing page to register and answer initial questions on your current needs and recovery thinking.

All cities that want to join the coalition of Cities for Resilient Recovery commit to the following:

  • Active support of the coalition through strong commitment from the Chief Resilience Officers (in case of non GRCN members commitment needs to come from the City’s Senior Leadership) and allocation of in-kind support in resilient recovery planning.

  • Share knowledge, learning and data with other cities of the coalition.

  • Advocate for resilient recovery and share publicly that the city is an active member of the coalition.

  • Leverage additional support through other city partners and facilitation of support through political leadership for resilient recovery planning.

Why is C2R open to non-member cities?

This pandemic has changed our perceptions about space and interactions, reinforcing the importance of solidarity, collaboration and mutual support. It is time to come together and join forces to overcome this huge challenge ahead of us. We are leveraging our extensive network of cities and partners to broaden the discussion and our collective impact. We welcome new ideas to co-create a resilient future.

What will my city receive from joining C2R?

Knowledge: We are providing data driven and system thinking approaches that will support cities in understanding their current situation and prioritize the necessary actions and policies to build their future. It includes the “Coronavirus Speaking Series” with the support of the World Bank, weekly briefings for urban practitioners on recovery planning, monthly practice and technical notes on specific themes that support project development and a global community of practice of cities committed to embedding resilience in their recovery planning.

Tools: GRCN will provide cities with tools that ensure that cities are able to do ‘more with less’ and design post-crisis investments that deliver multiple benefits in the construction of new critical infrastructure assets in cities, so they are better prepared for the next challenge. It includes a Toolkit for Resilience Recovery and technical support and action plans for the delivery of these tools.

Resources: resources and expertise from international organizations, private and nonprofit sector will be aligned based on city demand on specific priority themes: urban investment/ municipal finance; circular economy; local economic development; food security; and climate resilience among others. C2R includes a Resilient Community Impact Fund for resilient recovery projects in line with thematic prioritization.

What will be different between member and non-member cities’ C2R offerings?

It is an open global platform where access to knowledge and tools are available to everyone. However, while there is a global agreement on the lack of data, funding, and municipal capacity to respond and recover, there are regional and local variations and nuances of what cities prioritize to build back better and communities’ needs. Since our member cities have already gone through an extensive process of assessing vulnerabilities and formulating a resilience strategy, we have a clear view on their priorities and needs. Therefore, the participation in the Resilient Community Impact Fund and some thematic program activities will be limited to GRCN city members for now.

Why this platform?

Apart from the health pandemic, we are living on the age of the pandemic of webinars! With the transposition of our social lives to digital interactions, plenty of very informative and relevant materials are emerging online. Our goal is to join forces rather to compete or duplicate, so we are aligning with different global initiatives such as Cities4Health from Bloomberg Philanthropies, Cities for Global Health from Metropolis, UCLG and UN-Habitat, C40’s Mayoral Taskforce for Recovery among others.