(Singapore, November 18, 2020) – The Resilient Cities Network is pleased to announce that Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb of the City of Rotterdam, and Monica Barone, Chief Executive Officer of the City of Sydney, have joined the board of directors. These board appointments come as R-Cities receives renewed financial commitment from The Rockefeller Foundation.

R-Cities connects cities and builds partnerships to design, invest and scale urban resilience solutions worldwide. As a city-led network, it develops capacity to address urban infrastructure challenges in a manner that is geographically attune and responds to the needs of vulnerable communities. Maintaining diversity among the organization’s leadership is therefore an essential commitment.

Mayor Aboutaleb is a trailblazer who brings incredible vision and dynamic experience to R-Cities board,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Chairman of the R-Cities Board. “As a fellow Mayor, I’m pleased to welcome him to the leadership of our global Network. I look forward to his insights and contributions, in particular in the areas of racial and economic equity, which is central to resilience building.

I’m pleased to join the board of the Resilient Cities Network. The challenges facing cities today are multi-faceted, and often interrelated. Resilience is a lens through which cities can begin working collaboratively, thinking innovatively, and applying practical solutions that have the potential to improve the well-being and prosperity of places for generations to come,” Mayor Aboutaleb said.

R-Cities supports its members with access to expertise, tools, trainings, and financial resources to improve city processes and projects. In addition, R-Cities elevates the myriad of approaches to urban resilience found around the world by showcasing these efforts in events, digital conversations, and case studies.

City leaders that understand and believe in resilience as a solution are critical to advancing a safe, equitable, and sustainable future for all,” said Daniel Stander, Special Advisor to the United Nations and Deputy Chair of the R-Cities Board. “Monica Barone is such a leader. She is champion for sustainable development and resilient communities. She is a talented, award-winning, forthright and people-centred chief executive. Her experience and skills will enhance R-Cities’ work, enabling program delivery and elevating best practices for cities around the world.

I look forward to joining the R-Cities board and continuing to engage in efforts to advance resilient city practices. In my experience these investments can be most effective when empowering communities first. As we have experienced in Sydney, applying a framework of resilience thinking can bring about solutions that help cities and citizens around the world to thrive,” Barone said.

As a leader in the area of resilience for more than a decade, The Rockefeller Foundation values initiatives that help cities maintain and recover critical functions in the face of shocks and stresses. The Foundation’s ongoing financial support recognizes the need for a dependable, credible, city-led network in today’s pandemic-stricken and inequitable world.

The partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation is instrumental for R-Cities work. The Foundation’s continuing investment in resilience allows our global network to improve city life around the world,” said R-Cities Executive Director, Lauren Sorkin. “With two fantastic additions to our board, along with the recommitment of catalytic funding, our network is well positioned to bring incredible value and expertise where it is needed most.

About Resilient Cities Network (R-Cities) 

Resilient Cities Network is a global city-led non-profit organization that brings together knowledge, practice, partnerships, and funding to empower cities to help them build a safe, equitable, and sustainable future for all. The Network integrates the combined effort of urban practitioners, city governments, and communities in a collective, comprehensive, and well-coordinated call-to-action to deliver urban impact-driven resilience solutions. 

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