Water Equity Clearinghouse

100 Resilient Cities


100 Resilient Cities is program supported by The Rockefeller Foundation and managed as a sponsored project by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA), an independent nonprofit organization that provides governance and operational infrastructure to its sponsored projects. With staff and offices in New York, London, and Singapore, 100 Resilient Cities supports adopting and incorporating a view of resilience that includes not just the shocks—natural disasters like earthquakes, fires, and floods—but also the stresses that chronically weaken cities on a day-to-day basis. These stresses include high unemployment, an overtaxed or inefficient public transportation system, endemic violence, and 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.

100 Resilient Cities’ mission is to create a global urban resilience movement. They partner closely with cities as they hire a chief resilience officer, create a holistic resilience strategy, and guide implementation to help cities change the way they understand risk and plan for the future. 100 Resilient Cities also wants to create an “urban resilience marketplace” by building a diverse network of global industry leaders and innovators from the private and nonprofit sectors. These partners deliver solutions to cities and collaborate to create new services and tools where necessary.

Efforts to Advance Water Equity

100 Resilient Cities has a number of projects taking place in cities across the US, some of which involve water systems. In Berkeley, California, aging infrastructure became a priority in reshaping the city’s resilience strategy. As a result, an overwhelming majority of Berkeley residents voted to repair, renovate or replace the city’s aging streets and sidewalks, storm drains and parks, and community facilities. In Chicago, the third most populated city in the nation, the city is developing plans to engage communities more effectively in infrastructure design, including water management.

100 Resilient Cities has a method of tracking impact in cities, comprised of three components: external research, internal monitoring, and city reporting. The Urban Institute and other global partners are conducting an external evaluation of the organization’s partnerships with cities and industry leaders over the next five years. They regularly track program activities and outcomes, and course correct when there are changes to apply to their programs and partnerships. Finally, regular reporting directly from the cities they work with allows them to identify trends and apply cities’ experiences, both successful and otherwise.