- The Rockefeller Foundation announced Monday a new climate and resilience initiative aimed at strengthening global communities to become more resilient. The initiative will focus on identifying, designing and supporting market-changing opportunities that increase climate and resilience capital flows into financial solutions, companies and projects. These plans are designed to improve the lives of the world's most vulnerable populations. Core areas include food, health, power, economic mobility and innovation.
- The Rockefeller Foundation is initially committing $8 million, which will support the work of chief resilience officers and members of the 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) network, which is disbanding this month. A Rockefeller Foundation spokesperson told Smart Cities Dive that while the funding is for an 18-month period, the organization will continue partnering with the global network of cities for five years.
- The $8 million commitment will go toward new opportunities that will be determined in the upcoming planning process. Support for unfinished resilience strategies through 100RC was part of previous commitments, according to the spokesperson. The initiative will be led by Elizabeth Yee, who previously served as 100RC's vice president of resilience finance.
The climate and resilience initiative is one arm of the three separate pathways to which the Rockefeller Foundation announced it would transition its urban resilience efforts. The other two are a partnership with the Atlantic Council to launch the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center and support local resilience efforts with the U.S. Jobs and Economic Opportunity Initiative.
The spokesperson emphasized that this is a transition period into a new phase, as opposed to the foundation ceasing its climate and resilience work with the disbanding of 100RC. The spokesperson noted that the foundation has a long history of serving as an incubator and transitioning programs to other entities that can continue to make a positive impact.
The new initiative comes just in time to avoid substantial gaps that could be left by the disbanding of 100RC this month. It will provide participating cities with new forms of support in fulfilling their climate and resilience plans at a time when global attention to these topics is intensifying.
Cities that participated in 100RC but haven't yet achieved their goals under that program are expected to be supported during the transition through previously announced funding, including a $12 million grant to Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, the fiscal sponsor of 100RC. That funding is expected to assist the 100RC network with transitioning through most of 2019.
With the guidance and assistance of the 100RC network, more than 80 cities have hired chief resilience officers and most of the cities will have resilience plans in place by the end of this year. Toronto and Miami both released their first resilience strategies this spring through collaborations with 100RC.