Mayor Kasim Reed was joined today by 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) President Michael Berkowitz for the City of Atlanta’s first agenda-setting workshop aimed at identifying priorities for the City’s urban resilience strategy. Mayor Reed welcomed more than 100 government, business, academic and civic community stakeholders who have committed to take an active role in the strategic planning process and addressing local challenges such as aging infrastructure, social inequality and cybersecurity.
“Today’s kickoff workshop signifies that the City of Atlanta is fully committed to working with the 100 Resilient Cities Network to address local challenges,” said Mayor Reed. “To become truly resilient, we must continue to execute our existing programs, as well as create more socially-responsible policies which will protect the environment, advance our infrastructure and drive our economy. I am gratified to know that more than 100 representatives will help us meet the charge to become more resilient and help ensure the city is stronger and more prepared for generations to come.”
In May 2016, the City of Atlanta was chosen as one of the 100 Resilient Cities from more than 325 applicants, spanning more than 90 countries across six continents, and was selected on the basis of the city’s willingness, ability, and need to become resilient in the face of future challenges.
“We are proud to host this workshop today and count ourselves among a group of cities leading in resilience-building efforts,” said Stephanie Stuckey Benfield, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. “Atlanta’s commitment to resilience planning will set a global example.”
“Atlanta is helping to fuel global momentum around building urban resilience and leading by example,” said 100RC President Michael Berkowitz. “The agenda-setting workshop helped clarify the city’s vulnerabilities, surfaced innovative thinking, and gave us a blueprint for engaging partners from across city sectors to bring Atlanta the tools and resources it needs to become more resilient.”
As part of the resilience strategy, Mayor Reed will soon appoint the city’s first-ever Chief Resilience Officer (CRO). Atlanta’s CRO will lead the city’s resilience-building efforts and continue to engage city stakeholders, resilience experts and 100RC staff in drafting a comprehensive resilience strategy for the city.
The City of Atlanta is currently working on a number of resilience projects including:
· Converting the former Bellwood Quarry into a 30-day water supply for residents and businesses.
· Proposing a special purpose local option sales tax for transportation to generate approximately $300 million over a five-year period to fund significant and expansive transportation projects citywide.
· Hiring the first-ever urban agriculture director who works to bring local, healthy food within a half-mile of 75 percent of all Atlanta residents by year 2020.
· Implementing the Renew Atlanta bond program to conduct $250 million of infrastructure improvements.
· Adopting an affordable-housing ordinance that will reserve a percentage of housing throughout the City and on the Atlanta BeltLine for working families.
The City of Atlanta will receive technical support and resources to develop and implement its resilience strategy which is expected to be completed by next year.