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Belfast chosen as a global ‘resilient city’

Words: Roger Milne

Belfast has been selected as one of only 100 cities throughout the world to join the 100 Resilient Cities Network, an initiative pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation in the USA.

Belfast is the only city in Ireland and one of only five in the UK (the others being London, Bristol, Glasgow and Manchester) to have been selected.

The Northern Ireland capital was chosen from more than 325 applications on the basis of its willingness, ability and need to become resilient in the face of future challenges.

Belfast will now receive grant funding to deploy a Commissioner for Resilience, who will lead citywide resilience building activities.

Belfast will also receive technical support to develop a resilience strategy.

Belfast Lord Mayor Arder Carson said: “Not only is it a significant honour to join the 100 Resilient Cities Network, but it will give Belfast the tools to support a better city today, tomorrow and for future generations.

“Belfast is a city on the rise. However, we are also well aware of the risks we face in relation to the potential of ageing infrastructure, lack of social cohesion and other man-made and natural disasters, including flooding.

“As a new member of 100 Resilient Cities, we can work with the best in the private, government and non-profit sectors across the world in developing and sharing tools to plan and respond to the resilience challenges ahead.”

Michael Berkowitz, 100 Resilient Cities president, said Belfast was selected because of "its leaders’ commitment to resilience building and the innovative and proactive way they’ve been thinking about the challenges the city faces.”

He added: “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 those things are essential for a resilient city.”

Image credit | iStock