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Rockefeller Foundation Providing Opportunities for Resilient Design

By Cooper Martin, Director, Resilient Communities

After the 2010 Haiti disaster, it was commonly noted in the media that earthquakes don’t kill people, buildings do. The growing conversation on resilient design that has peaked in the wake of Superstorm Sandy continues to present new opportunities to architects, who should assert themselves as leaders in this discussion.

The latest case in point is the 100 Resilient Cities Challenge, a Rockefeller Foundation initiative that will invest $100 million in cities around the world as they strive to create a more secure built environment. The AIA is encouraging its components and members to partner with their local governments in this process.

Cities who are accepted into the Rockefeller program will receive support in three forms: membership in a new 100 Resilient Cities Network, support to hire a Chief Resilience Officer, and support to create and implement a comprehensive resilience plan.

Architecture is inextricably linked to this agenda.  In a recent article, Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York stated that Hurricane Sandy “made all too clear how vitally important it is to build stronger and more sustainable infrastructure that can withstand extreme weather events.” And although climate change is a global problem, he points out that “as the world becomes more urban, the importance of bold local action… will continue to grow.” Mayor Bloomberg made it clear that his peers in the C-40 Cities Group share the sentiment and are ready to act.

With the investment from Rockefeller and the interest from local officials, architects are poised to lead.

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