Many cities, including Sydney and Melbourne, have appointed a Chief Resilience Officer. They are responsible for leading the city’s responses to the shocks and stresses that threaten a city’s fabric.
The closest position in private sector organisations seems to be the Chief Risk Officer who is generally accountable for managing the governance of significant risks and related opportunities of the business. With these appointments comes the recognition by the organisations of the importance of being resilient enough to survive setbacks and exploit the opportunities.
100 Resilient Cities
Back to the public sector and the appointment of Chief Resilience Officers is part of the remit for the 100 Resilient Cites organisation. Pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation (100RC), with a US$100m commitment, it is helping cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century.
These challenges include potential shocks such as earthquakes, fires, and floods but also the stresses that weaken the fabric of a city on a day to day or cyclical basis. These stresses include high unemployment; an inefficient public transportation system; endemic violence; or chronic food and water shortages.
Cities in the 100RC network are provided with the resources necessary to develop a resilience plan including guidance on appointing a Chief Resilience Officer to lead the city’s resilience efforts.
16 Resilient Cities in Asia Pacific
The Asian Pacific cities that are part of the initiative include:
- India (Bangalore, Chennai and Sural)
- Thailand (Bangkok)
- Vietnam (Da Nang)
- New Zealand (Wellington and Christchurch)
- China (Deyang, Huangshi)
- Australia (Melbourne and Sydney)
- Cambodia (Phnom Penh)
- Indonesia (Semarang)
- Japan (Toyama)
Interestingly it doesn’t yet include cities such as Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo or Jakarta.
Both Sydney and Melbourne Have Chief Resilience Officers
Beck Dawson is Sydney’s Chief Resilience Officer and the challenges of Sydney cited on 100cities.org include:
- infrastructure failure
- aging infrastructure
- poor transportation system (included as one of the two things I dislike about living in Sydney in my recent blog)
- heat wave
- lack of affordable housing.
Meanwhile in Melbourne, Toby Kent is the Chief Resilience Officer facing and he is tackling the city’s challenges which are climatic:
- heat wave
- rising sea levels.
For more information visit 100 Resilient Cities
For more information on building resilient organisations contact us.