Speaker Series #32 – Role of Resilience: What Have We Learned?

Dec 2020

About the Session

The Speakers

Cities on the Frontline cover image.

Cities on the Frontline Speaker Series

#32 – Role of Resilience: What Have We Learned (December 10, 2020)

Collage of different featured images from past Speaker Series sessions.

The series came spontaneously as response to Covid-19 and we ended up organizing the series for the rest of the year. It has been greatly appreciated and we are happy to see city practitioners returning to our series. From the last 31 sessions, what have we learned? What are the roles of resilience in the Covid response and recovery?

And as Covid-19 is here to stay, we are accepting this new reality. How can we build on the past sessions and continue to facilitate tangible learning exchange?


Lauren Sorkin
Executive Director, Resilient Cities Network

“We wanted to build a place for conversation and exchanging information. Looking at the knowledge platform, it’s amazing what we’ve done over 9 months, 32 sessions, and 90 presentations.”

Lauren Sorkin‘s presentation

Francis Ghesquiere
Practice Manager, Urban Development and Disaster Risk Management, The World Bank

“We’re all in the same boat, and cities are at the front line of it all as we work to build resilience in the face of this pandemic.”

Francis Ghesquiere‘s presentation

Karina Castillo
Resilience Coordinator, Office of Resilience, Miami-Dade

“Our CROs reached out to Brazil during Zika, and we learned a lot about that, which we integrated into our regional Resilience Strategy as pandemic communications. Every shock can teach you something.”

Karina Castillo‘s presentation

Dr. Sam Stratton-Short
ARUP International Development

“Prevention ties in with resilience. It’s not just response, but also how we build on this to be more ready for the next one. This pandemic really exposed how connected we all are.”

Dr. Sam Stratton-Short‘s presentation

Announcement of the Racial Equity Community of Practice

A city without equity will never be resilient. All too often, racial inequities are exacerbated by everyday city operations (systems) and when crises hit, communities of color suffer at disproportionate rates. We must act together now with urgency to end systemic racism.

Guided by the resilience framework, this Community of Practice is committed to collaboration, and having the difficult conversations needed to develop practical and resilient solutions to achieve racial equity in cities.

Headshot photograph of Laurian_Farrel, Regional Director, North America.

Laurian Farrell
Regional Director, North America

“A city that is not equitable can never be resilient. Our intention as a group: to take a practical look at systems, policies and practices to dismantle anti-black racism within city structures.”

Headshot photograph of Ron Harris, Minneapolis Chief Resilience Officer.

Ron Harris
Minneapolis Chief Resilience Officer

“George Floyd was murdered in my city. That was the culmination of decades of problems we’ve been wrestling with in cities. You can’t benefit from green buildings if your city is plagued by racial inequity and racism.”

Headshot photograph of Michelle Farrell, Lawyer & Equity Specialist.

Michelle Farrell
Lawyer & Equity Specialist

“2020 is a moment and an opportunity to focus on anti-black racism and make change like we never have before – what we have been implementing for decades, didn’t work.”

Headshot photograph of Megan Sparks, Senior Director, Programs and Strategic Partnerships, Atlanta, Georgia.

Megan Sparks
Senior Director, Programs and Strategic Partnerships, Atlanta, Georgia

“Those who suffer the most are a symbol of our communities’ health. If you improve the quality of life for those who suffer the most, you improve the whole community.”

Read more about the Racial Equity Community

Watch full session here:

Black climate change thematic icon with blue circular background. Black built environment thematic icon with blue circular background. Black economy and finance thematic icon with blue circular background. Black equity thematic icon with blue circular background.

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