In 2016 Belfast became the first city in Ireland, and one of only five in the UK, to join the 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) programme.
100RC was established by the Rockefeller Foundation to encourage cities across the world to work together to build their resilience to the emerging shocks and stresses of the 21st century.
Membership will provide Belfast with access to funding and expert support to help us develop and implement our own resilience strategy.
This strategy will strengthen our ability to plan for and manage potential ‘shocks’ such as:
- infrastructure failure, and
and chronic economic and social stresses such as:
- economic inactivity
- segregation, and
Commissioner for Resilience
We have appointed our first Commissioner for Resilience - Grainia Long.
Funded for two years by a grant from 100 Resilient Cities – pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) - the Commissioner will work with us and partners to build a comprehensive resilience strategy for Belfast, addressing major ‘shocks’ such as flooding, infrastructure failure and cyber-attack, and also addressing ongoing ‘stresses’ such as fragile aspects of the city’s economy, economic exclusion, segregation, health inequalities and climate change.
This video, produced by 100 Resilient Cities, explains the kind of role the Commissioner, as known in some cities as the Chief Resilience Officer, will play.
What is urban resilience?
100RC define ‘urban resilience’ as the capacity of individuals, communities, organisations, businesses, and systems within a city to survive, adapt, and grow no matter what kinds of chronic stresses and acute shocks they experience.
They worked with Arup to design a framework to help cities understand the wide range of factors that contribute to their resilience, and to establish a common language to share knowledge and experiences.
This comes at the right time for Belfast. We are developing major plans for our future up to 2035 - the Belfast Agenda and the Local Development Plan. The framework will provide practical ways of ensuring that these plans can better withstand the unexpected.
The resilience strategy
Other cities have already developed their own unique resilience strategies. You can read about them on the 100RC website.
Of particular interest to Belfast is Glasgow’s new strategy and Bristol’s strategy. Each one is different and reflects each city’s own history and circumstances.
Belfast agenda setting workshop
Our first act as a member of the 100RC programme was to bring together key organisations to introduce them to the aims of the 100 Resilience Cities programme, its ideas, and the plans for the development of the framework.
Supported by 100RC and facilitated by Arup, this ‘agenda setting’ workshop also encourage participants to begin thinking about the city’s shocks and stresses.
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