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Rockefeller Foundation resilience workshop with community

24 March 2014

Rockefeller Foundation hosting resilience workshop with community leaders

Representatives from the New-York-based Rockefeller Foundation are in Christchurch for a workshop tomorrow (Tuesday 25 March) to kick-start the city's resilience planning journey.

Bryna Lipper, Vice President, and Aaron Spencer, Relationship Manager for 100 Resilient Cities pioneereed by the Rockefeller Foundation, will spend three days in the city, with the focus of their visit being the one-day resilience agenda setting workshop. Around 50 community members have been invited to this first workshop which is the platform for further seminars with residents on how we make Christchurch more resilient to future disaster.

Christchurch was selected as one of 33 cities worldwide for the 100 Resilient Cities network in December last year. As a result of this successful application, 100 Resilient Cities will fund the appointment of a Chief Resilience Officer and also provide support to create the resilience plan that reflects the city's needs.

International representatives from platform partners of 100 Resilient Cities - SwissRe, Palantir and Sandia - will also attend the workshop. These partners will provide tools and resources to implement Christchurch's resilience plan. AECOM - a global provider of architecture, design, engineering, and construction services - is organising and facilitating the workshop with 100 Resilient Citiesand the Christchurch City Council.

Rockefeller Foundation President Judith Rodin says that city governments are on the front line of dealing with acute shocks and chronic stress.

"Christchurch is part of a group of cities leading the way on resilience to better prepare for, withstand, and recover more effectively when disruption hits. Through this type of inclusive resilience planning cities can be better prepared for the unexpected. They can also realise the resilience dividend, the economic and competitive advantages that come from taking a resilience mindset. Your commitment to resilience thinking, planning and action will set a global example," Judith Rodin says.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel says the workshop is the city's first opportunity to learn about being a member of the 100 Resilient Cities network and for the city to begin serious discussions on building resilience.

"Ever since I learned about the Rockefeller Foundation's centennial challenge, I began imagining Christchurch and its surrounding districts becoming one of the 100 Resilient Cities network. Joining the network could not be more timely. We are at a stage in our city’s recovery to build on our learnings from everything we have been through for the past three years and share our experiences with other cities in New Zealand and across the world," she says.

"How resilient communities have proved to be, depends on a range of circumstances. This is one of the reasons why being part of the network of 100 Resilient Cities will help us both understand how we can increase the factors that build resilience before a disaster and then how we can embed those as we recover from a disaster.

"Resilience is everything from sustainable land use, food and water security and climate change adaptation all the way through to community development at the grass roots. The less prepared or resilient people and their environment are for an event, the greater the risk.

"Resilience is so much more than just recovery - it is about the capacity to adapt to a new environment and to co-create a new future. That is what makes it exciting," says Mayor Dalziel.

She says the workshop will include presentations from local businesses and community groups which were true embodiments of resilience over the past three years.


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