Minneapolis has been selected for a competitive global program that aims to make cities more prepared to overcome big challenges ranging from natural disasters to racial inequities.
In a news conference Thursday, Mayor Betsy Hodges announced that Minneapolis is one of the newest cities to be picked for the Rockefeller Foundation’s “100 Resilient Cities” initiative. The philanthropic group has been selecting cities for the program since 2013, and the most recent round of selections brings the total to 100 cities.
Backed by representatives from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Minnesota Department of Health, Minneapolis Environmental Advisory Commission, Xcel Energy and Fresh Energy, Hodges said the city’s selection could prompt more investments in the city from both public and private sources.
“This is all part of the work we have been doing as a city, but this is bigger picture, and longer term,” she said.
The recognition does not come with a specific amount of money for city programs.
Instead, it provides a grant to help selected cities add a new position: a chief resilience officer. The program’s website describes the position as one that can help coordinate a city’s communication efforts between departments, link the city with outside groups working on similar efforts, and “act as the ‘resilience point person,’ ensuring that the city applies a resilience lens so that resources are leveraged holistically and projects planned for synergy.”
Hodges said the program does not provide a specific amount of funding for the new position. The amount is determined based on the economy and job market in each city. She said the city would likely have the position for two years, and possibly up to four.
The program also provides “expert support” for development of a resilience strategy, along with “access to solutions, service providers and partners from the private, public and NGO sectors” to help implement those strategies. The mayor said the 100 cities in the program have access to a total of $200 million in private resources, but it’s not clear how much of that share Minneapolis might receive.
Erin Golden • 612-673-4790