Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital has joined 100 Resilient Cities, pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation, joining an elite international group proactively preparing to face any challenge that may lie ahead as the world faces huge deficits in preparedness for rapid growth and natural and man-made disasters.
The emerging mega city is part of the final group of 37 cities selected using a highly competitive selection process. Seven cities had earlier been selected in sub-Saharan Africa to be part of the 100-member network.
“We are so proud to welcome Lagos to 100 Resilient Cities,” 100RC President Michael Berkowitz said. “We selected Lagos because of 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.”
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, a statement by 100RC said. 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.
“For us, a resilient city has good emergency response and meets its citizens’ needs,” Berkowitz continued. “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.” These very qualities were the reason why Lagos was chosen.
Lagos Executive Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode said the city’s selection to join the 100 Resilient Network is not only a significant honour but will also give Lagos the tools to support a better city for generations to come.
“Our application recognized Lagos’s commitment to urban renewal, health, resolution of traffic gridlock, infrastructural deficit and coastal erosion.” Mr. Ambode said. “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.”
Selected cities are now part of a global community of cities working together to build urban resilience. In the months ahead, as part of the 100RC Network, Lagos will be eligible to receive grant funding to hire a Chief Resilience Officer, who will 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.
Other newly selected cities in Africa are Ethiopia’s capital city Addis Ababa, Cape Town in South Africa and Kenyan capital Nairobi.