Building up resilience in cities world-wide – Rotterdam as participant in the 100 Resilient Cities programme

Room I
Monday, 31 August 2015
15.15 – 17.00
100 resilient cities, climate change, resilience, Rotterdam

Cities world-wide are challenged by a high complexity of acute and chronic problems, including challenges related to economic development, social polarization and segregation as well as climate change and ecological degradation. While all of these problems are complex in themselves, they also interrelate. Addressing them in a meaningful way requires governance systems possessing systemic capacities to deal with complexity. To create resilience in the urban system cities need to be able to learn, adapt and transform across sectors and levels.

One of the definitions of city resilience is the capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses, and systems within a city to survive, adapt, and grow no matter what kinds of chronic stresses and acute shocks they experience. This is the definition the Rockefeller Foundation adopts in its mission to promote the well-being of humanity throughout the world. One of the ways to do this is by facilitating the building of resilience in cities worldwide through its 100 Resilient Programme, since 2013.

Rotterdam is one of the first cities to participate in this programme. This city has been a front runner in preparing for climate change and striving after urban sustainability. This paper will assess the concept of urban resilience, introduce the Rockefeller Foundation effort in building up city resilience world-wide and exemplify this with the Rotterdam case.

Marjolein Spaans
TU Delft
The Netherlands
M.Spaans [at]
Bas Waterhout

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