S'pore to join global network by Rockefeller Foundation to build urban resilience

Dr Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation. Singapore will be among 35 cities this year to join the 100 Resilient Cities Challenge - a $100 million initiative started by the philanthropic Foundation. -- PHOTO: THE BUSINESS TIMES
Dr Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation. Singapore will be among 35 cities this year to join the 100 Resilient Cities Challenge - a $100 million initiative started by the philanthropic Foundation. -- PHOTO: THE BUSINESS TIMES

SINGAPORE- Singapore will be joining a global network to build resilience against growing challenges such as extreme weather and rapid urbanisation.

On Wednesday, it was announced that Singapore would be among 35 cities this year to join the 100 Resilient Cities Challenge- a $100 million initiative started by philanthropic Rockefeller Foundation. A total of 100 cities will be selected over three years. In the first round last year, 32 cities were chosen.

Started last year, the initiative hopes to equip cities with the ability to respond to emergencies such as natural and man-made disasters, waning food supplies and rapidly growing populations.

All the cities in the network will get funds to hire a Chief Resilience Officer, who will lead in the planning and implementation of the city's resilience strategy. The network will also be a platform for cities to build on one another's experiences.

Dr Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, said at the event on Wednesday that even though Singapore is considered an "urban pioneer" alongside cities like London and Barcelona, there are still initiatives that need rethinking given new challenges in the 21st century.

Members of the 100 Resilient Cities network are "learning that by building resilience, not only will they be better prepared for the bad times, but also life becomes better in the good times", she added.

When asked,Executive director for the Centre of Liveable Cities Khoo Teng Chye said that there will be discussions with the Rockefeller Foundation on who to appoint as a chief resilience officer. The amount of funding Singapore will receive will also depend on what comes out from the discussions, he added.

Apart from Singapore, cities like Wellington in New Zealand and Paris in France, were also chosen to join the network this year from nearly 350 applicants. Member cities were chosen based on the recommendation of an international panel of judges.

The next round of applications will open in mid-2015.