…Says Forum Will Aid State Address Mega City Challenges
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday welcomed the entrance of the State into the 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) Network, saying the recognition will help the State address the challenges of urban planning, transport gridlock, environment and modern infrastructure.
The Rockefeller Foundation, pioneers of the 100 Resilient Cities Challenge, had earlier today announced Lagos as the Winner of the 100 Resilient Cities Challenge, which would afford the State gain access to tools, funding, technical expertise and other resources to build resilience to the challenges of the 21st century.
Lagos was part of the final group of cities selected in a highly competitive global grant process, which would enable the State appoint a Chief Resilience Officer to lead local efforts in building a comprehensive Resilience Strategy.
Governor Ambode in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Habib Aruna, said, “Lagos’s selection to join the 100 Resilient Network is not only a significant honor but also will give us the tools to support a better Lagos today, tomorrow, and for future generations to come. Our application recognized our commitment to urban renewal, resolution of traffic gridlock, infrastructural deficit and coastal erosion.
“As a new member of 100 Resilient Cities, we can work with the best in the private, government, and non-profit sectors in developing and sharing tools to plan for and respond to the resilience challenges ahead.”
On his part, President of 100RC, Mr. Michael Berkowitz, said they were proud to welcome Lagos to the network, saying the selection of the State was based on its leaders’ commitment to resilience-building and the innovative and proactive way they’ve been thinking about the challenges the city faces.
“We’re excited to get to work. For us, a resilient city has good emergency response and meets its citizens’ needs. It has diverse economies and takes care of both its built and natural infrastructure. It has effective leadership, empowered stakeholders, and an integrated planning system. All of those things are essential for a resilient city,” Berkowitz said.
The President said the momentum from the past two 100RC’s challenges made this year’s highly competitive, spanning more than 80 countries across six continents.
He said Lagos was chosen from more than 325 applicants on the basis of their willingness, ability, and need to become resilient in the face of future challenges.
“The application process showed each city’s unique vision for resilience, a long-term commitment to building resilience in a way that connects silos of government and sectors of society, and specific attention to the needs of poor and vulnerable citizens. Applicant cities also demonstrated the willingness to be leaders in urban resilience, sharing learning experiences and becoming a model for other cities across the globe.”
He said the cities, selected upon the recommendation of distinguished judges from around the world, are now part of a global community of cities working together to build urban resilience, adding that Lagos would now be eligible to receive grant funding to hire a Chief Resilience Officer, who would lead the citywide resilience building process and engage stakeholders from across different government agencies, public and private sectors, and various communities to incorporate diverse perspectives and knowledge.
“Lagos will also receive technical support to develop a Resilience Strategy that reflects the city’s distinct needs and the support and services they need as they work toward implementing that strategy. Each new network member will gain access to a variety of 100RC Platform Partners in the private, public, academic, government, and nonprofit sectors.
“Partners offer tools and services valued at more than $180 million USD at no direct cost to 100RC members, in areas such as innovative finance, technology, infrastructure, land use, and community and social resilience. Finally, the cities will be linked together in a global network so they can learn from each other’s challenges and successes,” Berkowitz said.