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Press Contact: Timothy Burroughs, Office of Energy & Sustainable Development, (510) 981-7437

Berkeley to be among the first group of cities selected to benefit from innovative resilience planning tools and resources

Berkeley, California (Tuesday, December 03, 2013) - The Rockefeller Foundation today announced that Berkeley was selected as an inaugural member of the 100 Resilient Cities Network. Berkeley was one of nearly 400 cities across six continents to apply for The Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge, and one of only 33 cities to be selected. An additional 67 cities will be selected over the next two years. 

The Rockefeller Foundation defines resilience as “the ability of a community to withstand shocks while still maintaining its essential functions and to recover quickly and effectively.” Berkeley will be awarded at least two years of funding to cover the cost of a full-time staff person dedicated to coordinating the City’s resilience efforts, including readiness for earthquakes and wildfires, and advancement of local strategies designed to prepare the community for the impacts of climate change, such as sea-level rise and extreme heat.

“We congratulate Berkeley on being named one of the 100 Resilient Cities,” said Rockefeller Foundation President Judith Rodin. “Along with 32 other cities across six continents, Berkeley will be able to better prepare for, withstand, and bounce back more effectively in the face of shocks, stresses and other vulnerabilities. Berkeley is now part of a global network of urban areas focused on building resilience, to share best practices and lead by example for cities throughout the world.”

As part of the 100 Resilient Cities Network, Berkeley will also receive access to tools, technical support, and resources for implementing a comprehensive resilience plan. Initial partners for this platform of services include Swiss Re, Palantir, the World Bank, the American Institute of Architects, and Architecture for Humanity, which united at the Clinton Global Initiative in September to commit to providing support in design thinking, planning, and alternate services.

Through the 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge, cities from around the world were invited to apply for the new 100 Resilient Cities Network. A panel of distinguished leaders from around the world selected awardees based on how a city planned to approach and build greater resilience; how a city would incorporate a range of constituents (e.g., civil society, local businesses, and academia) in its resilience planning and implementation; and how the needs of the poor or vulnerable would be addressed.

“We are excited about this global network of cities, large and small, coastal and land-locked, ancient and modern, and for Berkeley to be a part of it. As Berkeley explained so clearly in its application, building resilience requires partners from every sector, and we have an outstanding multi-sector platform of tools and resources that we are eager to make available to help Berkeley become more resilient,” said Michael Berkowitz, Managing Director for 100 Resilient Cities at The Rockefeller Foundation.

“We are honored to be selected to participate in the 100 Resilient Cities Network, and proud of Berkeley’s proactive approach to building resilience in our community,” said Berkeley City Manager, Christine Daniel. “Participation in the 100 Resilient Cities Network will help the City to accelerate our efforts to make Berkeley better able to prepare for and bounce back from disasters. We are looking forward to contributing Berkeley’s best practices to the 100 Resilient Cities Network, and to learning resilience approaches from our fellow cities.”

The announcement came at The Rockefeller Foundation’s third annual Innovation Forum titled, “Building Resilient Cities,” which was held in partnership with the Financial Times in New York City.

For nearly a decade, The Rockefeller Foundation has been a leader in the growing field of resilience in both urban and rural contexts, building urban climate change resilience in Asia through its Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network, through investments in building rural climate change resilience in Africa, by funding comprehensive planning work in post-Katrina New Orleans, and most recently, by leading New York Governor Cuomo's post-Sandy Commission, which set forth a bold plan for building long-term resilience in New York. Building on these investments, and in order to enable cities around the world to prepare for the challenges of the 21st century it launched the 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge in May 2013. Additional cities will be named to join the 100 Resilient Cities Network in subsequent years.

About The Rockefeller Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation aims to achieve equitable growth by expanding opportunity for more people in more places worldwide, and to build resilience by helping them prepare for, withstand, and emerge stronger from acute shocks and chronic stresses. Throughout its 100 year history, The Rockefeller Foundation has enhanced the impact of innovative thinkers and actors working to change the world by providing the resources, networks, convening power, and technologies to move them from idea to impact. In today's dynamic and interconnected world, The Rockefeller Foundation has a unique ability to address the emerging challenges facing humankind through innovation, intervention and influence in order to shape agendas and inform decision making. For more information, please visit www.rockefellerfoundation.org

About 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation 
100 Resilient Cities is dedicated to supporting cities to adopt and incorporate a resilience mindset in their planning, development, and community-building so that they are better prepared for and can quickly rebound from 21st century shocks and stresses. 100 Resilient Cities enables cities around the world to develop and implement resilience plans, provides city leaders a forum to share and learn from others' experiences, and connects them with suppliers, thinkers, and stakeholders who can help them improve their city's resilience. 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation, is financially supported by The Rockefeller Foundation and managed as a sponsored project by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA), an independent 501c3 nonprofit organization that provides governance and operational infrastructure to its sponsored projects. Learn more about RPA at www.rockpa.org.



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