San Francisco, USA
As part of the city’s resilience strategy, issued in April of 2016, Mayor Lee of San Francisco, U.S.A. issued an Executive Order to institutionalize the Office of Resilience and Recovery—making it a permanent piece of City government empowered to work both interdepartmentally and closely with the public to spearhead implementation of the strategy. The resilience officer is charged with developing a tracking methodology to ensure that this process is effective, efficient, and transparent, providing accountability to all departments and divisions that play a role in meeting the city’s holistic resilience goals. The Office leads the community engagement and strategic partnerships necessary to advance the strategy’s work, and will update the strategy annually in order to measure the city’s progress.
Early in the process of developing their resilience strategy, Mayor Boutaris of Thessaloniki, Greece took action to institutionalize resilience into the core functions of the city. In May 2016, the Mayor appointed the CRO as Deputy Mayor for Resilience and Development Planning—giving her the tools to mainstream resilience and formalizing the CRO function within existing legal and regulatory instruments, as well as funding and financing mechanisms. A few months later, the opposition party of the city council appointed the first “Shadow Deputy Mayor of Resilience and Development Planning.” This is a meaningful step toward institutionalization, demonstrating that our work is gaining traction beyond the current Mayoral administration and their ruling party collation, and that the value of resilience thinking is transcending party lines.
The city of Montreal, Canada took the creation of a resilience office seriously from the beginning of their journey with 100RC, deliberately committing significant resources to the efforts from the outset of the strategy development process. Creating the office of the CRO was a joint commitment of Mayor Corderre and the Director General—a powerful gesture showing their intention to better unify the two sides of the government around resilience. The city has since committed three staff members and a dedicated budget for the “Bureau de la Resilience” (CRO office).
Porto Alegre, Brazil
In Porto Alegre, Brazil a mayoral election followed close on the heels of the release of the city’s resilience strategy, potentially putting the institutional future of the Resilience Office into question. The Resilience Office instead seized on this as an opportunity, and in August 2016 held a Town Hall style meeting with the city’s 8 mayoral and deputy-mayoral candidates. The CRO and his team used the meeting to present the candidates with the results of the last three years’ of resilience work, and to seek the candidates’ commitments to the resilience building agenda, should they be elected.
At the end of the meeting, 8 of the 9 candidates signed a Letter of Commitment stating that they would: continue the implementation of the initiatives listed in the first Porto Alegre Resilience Strategy; honor the current commitment to invest 10% of the municipal budget in resilience; promote the annual review and updating of the Porto Alegre Resilience Strategy, including identifying, and supporting new initiatives for resilience; maintain and strengthen the CRO’s office.
Porto Alegre held its first round of municipal elections on October 2, and both of the two finalists who will progress to the second round signed this Letter of Commitment, ensuring resilience remains a priority into the new administration.
Explore another recent 100RC report: Catalyzing the Urban Resilience Market which details how the private sector and cities are innovating to create new solutions and services to address urban challenges.