Prioritizing Resilience: Fraught with Challenges, But Worthwhile

In the face of climate change, making cities "resilient" before crises strike has become a pressing concern.

1 minute read

September 7, 2014, 11:00 AM PDT

By Molly M. Strauss @mmstrauss

Municipalities around the world are hiring Chief Resilience Officers (CRO) to focus on this objective, navigating complex bureaucracies in preparation for the "shocks and stresses" sure to come. 

Through the Rockefeller Foundation's 100 Resilient Cities program, Los Angeles will receive funds to hire a CRO, although Mayor Eric Garcetti has yet to appoint the individual. Heather Joy Rosenberg, a US Green Building Council Ginsberg Fellow, writes a letter to whomever will fill this role. She notes the sobering realities in California that the incoming CRO will face, cautions him or her about the challenges Los Angeles poses, and offers suggestions for creating resilience within this metropolis.

Rosenberg speaks to the need to prepare, even against the will of the public: "Are there price tags on these efforts? Of course, but the evidence shows we’ll pay much more tomorrow if we don’t invest today. Americans overall resist planning for real disasters, and are far more willing to pay for disaster recovery than disaster preparedness—even though recovery can be a slow and difficult process costing many times more:  FEMA estimates that $1 in pre-disaster preparedness could save society $4 on post-disaster recovery."

Thursday, September 4, 2014 in The Planning Report

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