All over the world, resiliency is moving to the top of the urban agenda. In response, the Smart Cities Council is partnering with leading organizations and governments to form a global network to accelerate community resilience. Individuals, agencies and organizations who would like access to resiliency tools, best practices, and case studies can register their interest at https://resiliencynetwork.global.
As natural and man-made disasters increase, the need for smart, resilient infrastructure is now universally understood by city leaders, as Tom Smith recently told Smart Cities Dive. "This is ludicrous what we're doing,” said the Executive Director of the American Society of Civil Engineers. “Waiting for infrastructure to fail and then going in and replacing it and trying to replace it at the same level doesn't make sense."
To respond to the growing threats, cities must build back better. And they must build smart from the start. They must install intelligent, interoperable infrastructure that can support multiple departments and multiple applications.
Partnering to accelerate progress
The Smart Cities Council Global Resiliency Network will enable cities to locate other communities working on similar projects; to share best practices; to connect to top experts; and to use online tools that dramatically accelerate project planning and implementation.
The Smart Cities Council, acting as a secretariat, is inviting a global partnership where cities, states, and national governments can find each other, share their lessons learned, and tap into online tools. Utilities, solution providers, universities and others will provide resources and expertise. The website, https://resiliencynetwork.global will act as the nexus for communication, knowledge sharing, and project planning.
Under the guidance of Steve Crout, Director of Policy and Resilience Programs, the Council is already leading efforts in Texas and Puerto Rico to build “Resilience Roadmaps” that take advantage of smart, resilient technologies. In these early efforts, the Council has partnered with government associations such as the National Association for State Energy Officials; trade associations such as the Business Council for Sustainable Energy; universities such as Texas A&M; and private companies such as Qualcomm. Now the Council is broadening its affiliations to form a global Advisory Board that will guide efforts in multiple parts of the world.
Threats are mounting
Today’s cities are at increased risk of hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, mudslides, wildfires, earthquakes, and other natural disasters. Climate change is increasing both the frequency and severity of extreme events. Billion-dollar disasters now occur twice as often as the historical average, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Man-made threats are growing as well: Power-grid attacks, water system attacks, bombings, cyber-terrorism, ransomware demands, and more.
“The Council has historically focused on helping cities use digital technology to improve livability, workability, and sustainability,” said Crout. “Given the increased shocks and stresses across our cities, we are formally extending our smart cities definition to include resiliency, and creating the Resiliency Network to provide targeted assistance.”
Participation is open to governments, associations, utilities, non-profits, and private sector companies at the website https://resiliencynetwork.global.
The Council will announce the initial members of the Resiliency Network Advisory Board, and its first initiatives, at Smart Cities Week Australia October 30, 2019 in Sydney.