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'Resilient Greater Manchester' launched

Greater Manchester in partnership with 100 Resilient Cities - Pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation (100RC), is beginning to undertake work to become more resilient to the shocks – catastrophic events like storms, pandemics and floods – and stresses that weaken the capacity of a city to deal with the challenges it may face, like skills shortages, homelessness, and unemployment, which are increasingly part of 21st century life. Greater Manchester was named part of the 100RC network in 2016, joining cities like London, New York, Bangkok and Rio de Janeiro – and was selected from more than 1,000 applicants from around the world.

On Tuesday, November 29, 2016 officials from throughout the city region, along with leading resilience experts from Europe and America, came together at Manchester Town Hall to launch Greater Manchester’s participation in this programme.

Alongside other cities in the network, Greater Manchester will be undertaking work to understand where it can further strengthen its resilience and how this might be financed. The workshop began the process of identifying priorities which will help to inform a Resilience Strategy which will be drafted over the next six to-12 months.

The workshop was opened up by Councillor Rishi Shori, Bury Council Leader and GMCA Leader for Resilience, who welcomed everyone to the event.

Cllr Shori said: "Joining 100 Resilient Cities is a great opportunity to tackle existing and new issues faced by Greater Manchester and involving the diversity of the communities and organisations that make up our city will be critical to our future success.

"The Boxing Day floods of 2015 highlight the devastation which civil emergencies can cause. 600 domestic properties and 100 businesses in Bury alone were damaged from the flood water, and some people are still out of their homes as a result.

"We need to look at our strengths and the challenges we face and how we can make Greater Manchester even greater."

Mike Owen took to the stage next. He said: "Greater a Manchester is moving at a fast pace and we face many risks. We must do what we can to help people have a better life and achieve their dreams.

"This is a brilliant time to join 100RC, as we work on the opportunities that devolution brings for Greater Manchester. We want to make the people of Greater Manchester happier, and we all have a role to play in this."

Dr Kathy Oldham, Head of Civil Contingencies and Resilience Unit, AGMA, said: "During the workshop people from across Greater Manchester worked together to explore how to help our communities and help our city region to become safer. We learned from the experiences of other cities across the world and the day was full of exciting discussions and new perspectives."

"City governments are on the front line of dealing with acute shocks and chronic stress. Greater Manchester is part of a group of cities leading the way on resilience to better prepare for, withstand, and recover more effectively when disruption hits," said 100 Resilient Cities President Michael Berkowitz.

"Through this type of inclusive resilience planning cities can be better prepared for the unexpected. They can also realise the resilience dividend, the economic and competitive advantages that come from taking a resilience mindset. Greater Manchester’s commitment to resilience thinking, planning, and action will help to set a global example."

Greater Manchester was selected to the 100-city global network in May 2016, and will receive technical support and resources to develop and implement a Resilience Strategy. Each city in the 100RC network receives four concrete types of support:

  • Financial and logistical guidance for establishing an innovative new position in city government, a Chief Resilience Officer, who will lead the city’s resilience efforts;
  • Technical support for development of a robust Resilience Strategy;
  • Access to solutions, service providers, and partners from the private, public and NGO sectors who can help them develop and implement their resilience strategies; and
  • Membership in a global network of member cities who can learn from and help each other.

About 100 Resilient Cities—Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation 

100 Resilient Cities - Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) helps cities around the world become more resilient to social, economic, and physical challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. 100RC provides this assistance through: funding for a Chief Resilience Officer in each of our cities who will lead the resilience efforts; resources for drafting a Resilience Strategy; access to private sector, public sector, academic, and NGO resilience tools; and membership in a global network of peer cities to share best practices and challenges.

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