#29 – Financing the Recovery (October 22, 2020)
With the continuous falling revenues due to pandemic, municipalities are under significant financial strain. The economic toll is challenging the ability of municipalities to meet the basic needs of their communities and businesses, let alone recovery. From as early as March 2020, a survey of Chief Resilience Officers across the global network revealed that cities were already facing gaps in funding, data, and municipal staff capacity while working on recovery plans.
Despite the pandemic, the world is continuing to urbanize, and challenges like more severe disasters and climate change will remain. In an article in NYT in April 2020, Brian Strong, the chief resilience officer for San Francisco said, “I have not seen any projections of sea level rise slowing down as a result of the Covid crisis. In addition, while cities and urban density are often blamed as the hotspots and high risk areas form Covid-19 infection, as discussed in one of the earlier session cities with “good density” and adequate infrastructure and services perform better in addressing Covid, emphasizing the continues need of planning and financing quality urban development and management.
The session covered observation how Covid-19 has affected cities fiscal capacities. As the pandemic has strained cities capacity and resources, the session also looked at how cities are using innovative ways for financing their recovery.
Global Lead for City Management, Finance and Governance
“We have seen two main impacts of COVID-19 on city budgets. Cities with a significant role in health face increases in unexpected costs. Second, with an increase in costs and decrease in revenues, they’ve cut capital projects“
Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure India
“Restore public programs, reducing distress of individuals, and re-imagining infrastructure as people-centered to foster resilience.”
Project Manager, Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance
“Two main solutions for where cities should start looking for funding. First, National and international recovery funds. Some of them include funding for a green recovery, and many require cities to go through their national government.”
Deputy Mayor of Finance & Chief Resilience Officer, City of Thessaloniki
“In Thessaloniki, we are looking at the coming third wave of COVID, remembering how we were about to bounce back from the 2010 economic crisis when this outbreak began.”