November 8, 2018 -- Mayor Sylvester Turner, along with 100 Resilient Cities - Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) and Shell, are formally launching the City of Houston’s Resilience Strategy development process through a series of in-depth workshops starting this week. The Houston Resilience Strategy will assess the city’s vulnerability to the acute shocks – catastrophic events like hurricanes, fires, and floods – and chronic stresses, slow-moving disasters like water shortages, homelessness, and unemployment, which are increasingly part of 21st Century life.
Houston’s membership in the 100RC Network is being sponsored through $1.8 million in funding by Shell, which has a long history of applying technical and strategic solutions to some of the most complex projects and challenging environments in the world. Houston joined the 100RC Network in August 2018, joining other cities like New Orleans, Paris, Bangkok, and Mexico City.
“The challenges Houston is likely to face in the future – whether they be acute shocks or chronic stresses – are likely to be more intense, more frequent, and more complex than anything we have faced in the past,” said Mayor Turner. “Resilience is not just about being reactive to shocks and stresses, it’s about being proactive and building forward to thrive, compete, and win in the 21st Century.”
The Resilient Houston effort will serve as a platform for integrating, coordinating, and driving a tremendous array of initiatives across Houston. While Resilient Houston is a natural extension of the Hurricane Harvey Recovery process it will also integrate Houston’s Climate Action planning process announced this Fall at the Global Climate Action Summit.
“City governments are on the front line of dealing with acute shocks and chronic stress. Houston is part of a group of cities leading the way on resilience to better prepare for, withstand, and recover more effectively when disruption hits,” said Otis Rolley, Managing Director for North America at 100RC. “Through this type of inclusive resilience planning cities can be better prepared for the unexpected. They can also realize the resilience dividend, the economic and competitive advantages that come from taking a resilience mindset.”
“Shell is proud to sponsor the City of Houston’s participation in the 100 Resilient Cities Network and to call Houston home,” said Jason Klein, Shell VP US Energy Transition Strategy. “Resilience is about enabling the people of our city to thrive. Fulfilling the long-term vision and plans for a more resilient city is paramount to ensuring Houston remains a global hub for energy and innovation for decades to come.”
As part of its membership in the 100RC Network, Houston will receive grant funding to hire a Chief Resilience Officer (CRO) to work directly with leaders and stakeholders across the city in developing a comprehensive Resilience Strategy for Houston. Mayor Turner will soon appoint a CRO to lead the city’s resilience efforts and continue to engage those stakeholders, resilience experts, and 100RC staff in drafting a comprehensive Resilience Strategy. The Resilience Strategy, designed with extensive support from 100RC, helps cities plan for the challenges posed by globalization, urbanization, and climate change by creating a portfolio of actionable initiatives, with a focus on those that foster multiple benefits. To date, 49 cities in the 100RC Network have released Resilience Strategies, which contain more than 2,500 concrete actions and initiatives.
Among the workshops hosted in Houston will be the 100RC “Resilience Agenda-Setting Workshop.” The workshop brings a diverse set of stakeholders from across city government and the private sector, non-profits, NGO’s, academia, and civic groups into the planning process. It seeks to uncover all the threats the city is facing, including those previously unknown, while unveiling resilience building tools and plans to address those threats. Concurrently, The Water Institute of the Gulf, Waggonner and Ball, and representatives from the Kingdom of the Netherlands– technical experts provided to the City of Houston through the 100RC partnership – will host a Living With Water™ Expert Convening to begin cataloguing, coordinating, and enhancing the various water management related initiatives in development following Hurricane Harvey, while looking to integrate them into the Resilience Strategy process.
About 100 Resilient Cities
100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) helps cities around the world become more resilient to social, economic, and physical challenges which are a growing part of the 21st century. 100RC provides assistance through funding for a Chief Resilience Officer in each of the cities members, who will lead resilience efforts; resources for drafting a Resilience Strategy; access to private sector, public sector, academic, and NGO resilience tools; and membership in a global network of peer cities to share best practices and challenges. For more information, visit: www.100ResilientCities.org.
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