Mayor Barry, 100 Resilient Cities take on infrastructure, economic growth, flooding vulnerability

Morgan Mansa taking notes during breakout groups at 100RC Workshop.

Morgan Mansa taking notes during breakout groups at 100RC Workshop.

Mayor Megan Barry, joined by 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC), this Wednesday formally launched the City of Nashville’s resilience efforts, which will include the creation of a citywide Resilience Strategy and, in the very near future, the appointment of the city’s first-ever Chief Resilience Officer. The partnership with 100RC is assisting Nashville as it undertakes efforts to become more resilient to the shocks – catastrophic events like hurricanes, fires, and floods – and stresses, slow-moving disasters like water shortages, homelessness, and unemployment, which are increasingly part of 21st century life.

This week’s workshop, hosted at Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, is Nashville’s first engagement in their partnership with 100RC. The workshop brought a diverse set of stakeholders from across city government and the private sector, non-profits, NGO’s, academia, and civic groups into the planning process. In the coming weeks, Nashville will name its first Chief Resilience Officer (CRO). The CRO is an innovative new position in city government. The CRO will lead the city’s resilience efforts and continue to engage those stakeholders, resilience experts, and 100RC staff in drafting a comprehensive Resilience Strategy.

As Nashville continues to grow, we know we will have to build resilience strategically to tackle the social, economic, and physical realities we face.

“Nashville is booming, but as our population and workforce continue to grow, we have to take proactive steps to ensure a strong and resilient future,” said Mayor Megan Barry.

“Rainfall flooding alone costs our city $132 million in damage and economic disruption each year, and it’s time to make smart investments to address these challenges head on. We look forward to working with 100 Resilient Cities to build a Nashville that’s ready for whatever comes next.”

“Nashville is helping fuel global momentum around building urban resilience and is leading by example,” said Otis Rolley, 100 Resilient Cities Regional Director for City & Practice Management, Africa and North America. “Today’s agenda setting workshop will clarify the city’s needs, surface innovative thinking, and give us a blueprint for engaging partners from across sectors to bring Nashville the tools and resources needed to become more resilient.”

Each city in the 100RC network receives four concrete types of support:
Financial and logistical guidance for establishing an innovative new position in city government, a Chief Resilience Officer, who will lead the city’s resilience efforts;
Technical support for development of a robust Resilience Strategy;
Access to solutions, service providers, and partners from the private, public and NGO sectors who can help them develop and implement their resilience strategies; and
Membership in a global network of member cities who can learn from and help each other.

Nashville joined the 100RC network in 2016, along with cities like Paris, New York, Bangkok, and Buenos Aires. The city was selected from more than 1,000 applicants from around the world.