Tbilisi’s resilience journey

Tbilisi is the economic and cultural heart of Georgia, and has long been the crossroads between Europe and Asia. However, uneven economic growth in this post-Soviet country has led to high levels of unemployment. One third of residents under 30 are unemployed, and a skills mismatch in the labor market means that a university education is no guarantee of employment.

In response, Tbilisi has instituted new job training programs that have already engaged over 60,000 residents, while a government-supported loan program has taken steps to encourage small business growth.

Tbilisi has experienced an increase in devastating flooding and landslides, most recently in the summer of 2015. Heavy rainfall led to landslides that overwhelmed water management systems, causing fatalities and destruction of assets. While the rapid self-mobilization of volunteers and the private sector helped the city to rebuild quickly, the absence of both a comprehensive preventative action plan and a post-disaster action plan means that Tbilisi remains vulnerable to future shocks.

Tbilisi is, however, becoming a more resilient city every day. By the end of 2020, the city will have a completely new bus fleet, adding dedicated bus lanes. Tbilisi is also working to create more green public spaces, and building new climate-proof kindergartens for children to accommodate high demand.

Meet the Chief Resilience Officer

Ana Ardelean

Chief Resilience Officer

Ana Ardelean graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University and an MSc from DePaule University of Chicago. She worked in the private sector in the US for over 10 years.

In 2014, Ana returned to Georgia to work with the local government in Tbilisi. She held a variety of senior positions in the Mayor’s Office, including Head of Vice-Mayor’s Office and Head of International Relations.

Ana led Tbilisi to participate in the 100RC initiative. In 2017 she was appointed as first Chief Resilience Officer for Tbilisi. Since then, supported by a team of experts, she has been working on making Tbilisi a more resilient and livable city.

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