- The Global Resilient Cities Network (GRCN) launched Cities for a Resilient Recovery (C2R), a coalition of cities and resilience practitioners formed to help cities recover from the new coronavirus (COVID-19).
- Open to GRCN’s 98 member cities, and any others that are interested, the C2R initiative will provide a place for resiliency officers to share best practices and subject matter expertise, and be connected with programs through organizations like the World Bank, the Rockefeller Foundation and the University of Manchester.
- The coalition will look to encourage short- and long-term resiliency planning among participants. The initiative is also a response to the "overwhelming demand" from cities to work together on a "resilient recovery," Lauren Sorkin, GRCN’s acting executive director, said.
Cities are slowly planning how they can recover from the coronavirus, drawing on lessons from the experience and aiming to rebuild with more resiliency to future extreme events.
With 95% of infected people living in cities, the response to COVID-19 has been a challenging experience for city leaders, GRCN said. Former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said during an April webinar that various levels of government were "out of sync" on coronavirus response, meaning cities and states were sometimes unintentionally working against each other.
But GRCN is looking to share recovery lessons in a bid to "mobilize collective action." And with issues around the effects of climate change, congestion, equity and public health sure to linger past the coronavirus, Sorkin said this coalition represents a chance to "fix the broken systems that exacerbated the impacts of the virus on our vulnerable communities."
There is also hope that the existing network of cities, which have worked together in the past under the 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) umbrella to produce resiliency plans and share viewpoints on all kinds of extreme events, can be effective. In a statement released by GRCN, Toby Kent, chief resilience officer of Melbourne, Australia, said cities involved in this work are used to turning "challenges and crises into opportunities," and the post-coronavirus recovery is no different.
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