The City of Cape Town has been selected to join the 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) Programme pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation, which seeks to find 100 cities across the globe that are ready to build resilience to social, economic and physical challenges faced by urban environments.
Cape Town was chosen from more than 325 applicants on the basis of its willingness, ability and need to become resilient in the face of future challenges.
As a member of 100RC, the City of Cape Town will gain access to tools, funding, technical expertise, and other resources to build resilience to the challenges of the 21st century.
These challenges include shocks such as extreme weather events as a result of climate change, fires, floods, earthquakes, civil unrest as well as stresses that weaken the fabric of the city, such as unemployment, inefficient public transport, endemic crime and violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and energy shortages and outages.
100RC president Michael Berkowitz comments: “We are so proud to welcome Cape Town to 100 Resilient Cities. We selected Cape Town because of its leaders’ commitment to resilience-building and the innovative and proactive way they’ve been thinking about the challenges the city faces. We’re excited to get to work.”
The percentage of the global population living in urban areas is likely to grow from 50% today to an estimated 70% in 2050. Because of this, cities around the world face huge deficits in preparedness for rapid growth and natural and man-made disasters.
In the months ahead, as part of the 100RC Network, Cape Town will be eligible to receive grant funding to hire a chief resilience officer who will lead the city-wide resilience-building process and engage stakeholders from different government agencies, public and private sectors, and various communities to incorporate diverse perspectives and knowledge.
Not only will t be provided with capacity and funding, but also technical support in developing a resilience strategy which reflects the city’s distinct needs. It will also have opportunities to share knowledge with our peers in cities across the world.