(New York, NY, October 29, 2020) – The Resilient Cities Network (“R-Cities”) and the National League of Cities (NLC) today announced a partnership to accelerate urban resilience across the United States. As part of the effort, over the next year, eight cities will be selected to each receive $10,000 in funds, as well as customized support from partnership staff and Chief Resilience Officers.

Broadly, this alliance aims to promote cross-city collaborations and strengthen local leadership capacity in the area of resilience. Together, NLC’s network of nearly 20,000 cities and towns, and R-Cities global network of 97 Chief Resilience Officers — 24 of whom are US-based, will share knowledge and identify solutions. The effort will help to accelerate city responses to both existing chronic stresses, such as inequality and aging infrastructure, and future acute shocks, such as flooding and extreme heat. “This timely partnership between R-Cities and NLC has the potential to create the kind of transformative programming and solutions that cities across the country are looking for at this time,” said Clarence Anthony, CEO and executive director, National League of Cities. “NLC is proud to partner with R-Cities which brings deep knowledge developed by leading resilient cities around the world. We know that cities are stronger together. Together we can offer all of our members opportunities to learn from each other, share, and work to create an equitable and resilient future for all our communities.”

In the midst of the Covid-19 response and recovery, cities are recognizing that the four dimensions of urban resilience – health and well-being; economy and society; infrastructure and environment; leadership and governance – are intertwined and best addressed together. The R-Cities and NLC partnership allows thousands of small and mid-sized cities that have not yet developed a resilience strategy to access technical assistance and expertise from Chief Resilience Officers around the world that have developed solutions.

Even prior to the pandemic, towns and cities across the country were facing interrelated challenges ranging from housing affordability, homelessness, revenue loss, aging infrastructure, and severe climate impacts. However, this year, the disproportionate effect of the pandemic on marginalized communities has solidified the need for stronger partnerships to help transform these vulnerabilities. “City leaders, today, face compounding challenges, and are asked to do more with less,” R-Cities Executive Director Lauren Sorkin said. “R-Cities and NLC will work together to help cities thrive in the face of uncertainty.”

The R-Cities and NLC partnership will be jumpstarted at NLC’s annual City Summit in mid-November. There Laurian Farrell, R-Cities Regional Director of North America and Houston’s Chief Resilience Officer, Marissa Aho will provide a Resilience Fundamentals training for elected officials. Following the Summit, the two organizations will formally initiate the 2021 Leadership in Community Resilience grant program. Cities will be selected to participate in a yearlong cohort, receiving funds and customized support from NLC and R-Cities staff and experts.

About The National League of Cities

NLC is the country’s largest network of cities and their leaders – both elected and appointed – and boasts over 90 years of dedication to the advancement of local governments with a membership representing 19,495 of the country’s cities, towns and villages along with 49 state municipal leagues. The organization focuses on providing resource and advocacy efforts to support the nation’s cities and leadership. 

About Resilient Cities Network

Resilient Cities Network is a global city-led nonprofit 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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Nikki Rudnick