Announcing Resilient Cities Catalyst: a New Nonprofit Built on the Legacy of 100 Resilient Cities

Anchored in knowledge gained in the development of the urban resilience movement, Resilient Cities Catalyst (RCC) formally launched today in the lead-up to the World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi. Led by former executives of 100 Resilient Cities, RCC is a new nonprofit comprised of urban practitioners and resilience experts with deep experience working in cities around the world.

Through decades of combined experience in urban resilience, RCC staff have seen first-hand the risks and opportunities inherent in the world’s cities. By 2050, more than 70 percent of the world’s population will live in urban areas and already nearly 500 million urban residents live in high-risk coastal areas. RCC will partner with cities to support innovation, leverage existing city resources, and reinforce continuity of effort in the face of these rapid changes.

RCC also announced today the creation of a Board of Directors, including:

  • Dr. Judith Rodin: Former President of The Rockefeller Foundation and the University of Pennsylvania, author of The Resilience Dividend, and founder of 100 Resilient Cities.
  • Henk Ovink: Special Envoy for International Water Affairs for the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Principal of Rebuild by Design.

With initial funding support from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and Facebook, RCC will help cities build partnerships to understand, prioritize, and address their risks and chronic stresses through three core service areas:

  1. Resilience Roadmaps to create enabling environments for action through participatory resilience planning processes.
  2. Project Incubators to develop projects that maximize resilience impact, ensuring cities and communities have access to the technical, financial, and project preparation expertise required to move from concept to implementation.
  3. Catalyst Labs to facilitate the next generation of solutions and create new communities of practice in the urban resilience field.

“Cities represent our greatest opportunity for impact, while also posing the greatest risks to future shocks and stresses,” said Michael Berkowitz, Founding Principal, RCC and Former President, 100 Resilient Cities. “RCC is proud to launch today with a staff and board comprised of leading thinkers and practitioners in urban resilience, all optimistic about the potential in the world’s cities.”

“When The Rockefeller Foundation pioneered 100 Resilient Cities, we hoped that it would spark a global movement with many actors. We knew that helping cities better face the threats of the 21st Century would be a decades-long challenge, and I am proud that many of the 100RC leadership team are carrying on this work through the Resilient Cities Catalyst,” said Dr. Judith Rodin, RCC Board Member.

“Cities are facing extremes of too much or too little water. These extremes are being exacerbated by climate change. Whether it’s chronic flooding, water pollution, or droughts, water challenges are crippling cities’ economies, communities, families, and the natural systems so much needed to support them. Water can be the cities’ leverage for catalytic change, but leveraging water assets requires an empowered enabling environment. In this way, the RCC approach gets right to the heart of the matter. It directs capital and builds capacity where it is needed most: with the city institutions, urbanist professionals, and political and community leaders whose partnership are the necessary foundation for transformational change in the trajectory of our resilient urban future,” said Henk Ovink, RCC Board Member.

“We are proud to build on our partnership as an early supporter of Resilient Cities Catalyst. In the wake of historic wildfires in 2018, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation saw the opportunity to partner with Resilient Cities Catalyst to develop innovative approaches to preparing for and managing wildfires in Southern California. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with RCC as they lead the way in helping communities become more resilient,” said Peter Laugharn, President and Chief Executive Officer, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

“We’re excited to see the resilience work that began at The Rockefeller Foundation, thrive across a constellation of different actors, including the Resilient Cities Catalyst, the Global Resilient Cities Network, and the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center,” said Elizabeth Yee, Managing Director, Climate and Resilience, The Rockefeller Foundation.

“Resilient Cities Catalyst is building on the strength of 100 Resilient Cities to drive needed change in urban policy and planning around the world. We are committed to working together to bring interdisciplinary research and collaborative project development to our partners through the Resilience Accelerator,” said Kate Orff, Director of Urban Design, Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation and Faculty Director, Center for Resilient Cities and Landscapes.

“Michael and the Resilient Cities Catalyst team played a critical role in elevating the practice of urban resilience worldwide through 100 Resilient Cities. I look forward to building on those efforts with them directly and through their support for a range of city collaborations, including the Global Resilient Cities Network,” said Toby Kent, Chief Resilience Officer, Melbourne, Australia.

RCC is one of a number of important initiatives needed to help cities be more prepared for the 21st Century challenges and hopes to partner with these efforts, across sectors, to leverage our collective muscle to make cities more livable, sustainable, and resilient.


About Resilient Cities Catalyst

Resilient Cities Catalyst (RCC) joins with cities worldwide to help them better leverage the experience, resources, and energies of their leaders, managers, communities, companies, and urbanists to realize their collective visions. Founded by executives from 100 Resilient Cities, RCC’s work is anchored in the knowledge gained in the development of the urban resilience movement. For more info, please visit:

Source: CSRwire Press Releases, Events and Reports


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