December 26 2013

Oakland Among Five California Cities Awarded in First Round of Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities

The Rockefeller Foundation announced their 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge during their 100th birthday on May 14th, 2013. Following over 1,000 registrations and 400 applications from cities around the world, the first group, having “demonstrated a dedicated commitment to building their own capacities to prepare for, withstand, and bounce back rapidly from shocks and stresses,” has been selected. The panel of judges, including former presidents Bill Clinton and Olosegun Obasanjo, based their review on the clearness of the city plans to approach resiliency by adapting and decreasing the vulnerabilities and dangers faced by each geographic location.

The Rockefeller Foundation makes $100 million commitment to resilient cities at the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative.

The Rockefeller Foundation makes $100 million commitment to resilient cities at the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative

Of the first thirty-three cities from Africa to Asia, selected in the first group of this global network, four of them are in the Bay Area of California. San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and Alameda, will all collaborate in a pilot for regional strategic planning.

The Rockefeller Foundation will award four types of support to each city selected in the challenge:

  1. The support the hire of a Chief Resilience Officer as the central coordinator of resiliency planning and implementation;
  2. Support for the Chief Resilience Officer to perform the duties of planning and analysis for the development of actionable priorities and initiatives;
  3. Access to services supporting the implementation of a developed strategy, including investment solutions to spur infrastructure financing, information technology tools, and models for policy, laws and regulations to enable resiliency;
  4. Connection to other Network members, spotlighting success to share what works for the integration of regional and global innovations in urban resilience.

Oakland City Hall

Oakland City Hall: One of many civic buildings in Oakland having received energy and seismic retrofitting. Such programs would be expanded to include residential buildings not already upgraded

Recognizing the award for Oakland CA., Mayor Jean Quan acknowledged Oakland’s innovation and resiliency in worldwide terms, having recovered from two natural disasters, the Loma Prieta Earthquake and Oakland Hills Firestorm, just two years apart. The mayor targeted the city priorities for the award to focus on retrofitting of infrastructure, including the 24,000 units of residential housing susceptible to a quake and the city’s climate action plan to deal with global warming conditions. She thanked the Rockefeller Foundation, the fellow network cities and the multiple partners involved in defining Oakland’s objectives towards resiliency including the Oakland Climate Action Coalition, The Adapt to Rising Tides (ART) Project (a collaboration of the Alameda County Public Health Department, Port of Oakland, regional transit authorities, utility companies, local hospitals and environmental regulatory agencies), The Resource Innovation Group, The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), The California Earthquake Authority, The Pacific Earthquake Engineering and Research Center and more.

A symbol of Oakland's resiliency, at over 200 years old, one of the city's oldest and largest Oak trees in Frank Ogawa Plaza, downtown.

A symbol of Oakland’s resiliency, at over 200 years old, one of the city’s oldest and largest Oak trees in Frank Ogawa Plaza, downtown

The Bay Area is known globally as a leader of sustainable resilience in urban planning for the sake of their citizenry. The recognition and support from the Rockefeller Foundation offers a platform for such strategies to be shared worldwide as a leading example of mitigation and adaption to emerging conditions faced far and wide. The challenge still has sixty-seven cities to include in this network of leading urban examples.

What cities would you select for such an award and why?

Credits: Images by Gina Kiani and linked to sources. Data linked to sources.

Gina Kiani

Gina Kiani is a Graduate student at the University of Southern California and will complete a Master of Science in Geographic Information Science and Technology in the Fall of 2014. She holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of California Berkeley in Conservation and Resource Studies with a concentration in Sustainable Urban Environments. The primary direction of her objectives and pursuits focus on the use of Geographic Information Science (GIS) to facilitate Sustainable Urban Planning. Her interest in GIS concerns how spatial analysis can provide an over-arching context to many of the themes that are relevant to the interpretation of data and information required in efficient decision-making and modeling. With indisputable evidence of anthropogenic induced climate change, she hopes to utilize GIS in areas such as change detection of atmospheric composition and water levels, epidemic outbreaks, deforestation, reforestation, energy and food production etc., to contribute to the continual characterization, monitoring and evaluation of natural resources for sustainability purposes. Her skill-set includes dissecting and performing the critical components of a site suitability analysis, sustainability inventory, spatial analysis, field techniques for GIST, programming and customization, spatial database management, research and dissemination. Her final year of study will include project management and her thesis in GIS for Sustainable Urban Planning. As the Oakland and Berkeley California correspondent for Global Site Plans, she hopes to remain current on relevant development issues and discover emerging GIS strategies while advocating for sustainable planning.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, December 26th, 2013 at 9:40 am and is filed under Architecture, Energy, Engineering, Environment, Environmental Design, History/Preservation, Housing, Infrastructure, Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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