MD2351 London’s participation in the 100 Resilient Cities programme

Type of decision: 
Mayoral decision
Date signed: 
12 September 2018
Decision by: 
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London

Executive summary

The Greater London Authority (GLA) is seeking to confirm London’s participation in the 100 Resilient Cities programme pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation. The programme would have a beneficial impact on the city’s resilience preparations and arrangements. The initial phase of the programme would last two years from late 2018 to late 2020 (and involve recruitment to two GLA posts specifically established to work on the programme) but it is envisaged that it will be a longer-term initiative with the practices and approaches adopted becoming embedded in the city’s structures and resourcing plans. The Mayor is asked to record his agreement to London’s participation on this basis.


That the Mayor approves:

1. London’s participation in the 100 Resilient Cities programme; and
2. Receipt of grant in the order of £126,000 per annum from the Rockefeller Foundation to fund two GLA posts dedicated to supporting London’s participation in the 100 Resilient Cities programme over a two-year period.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

The 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) programme is pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation and is dedicated to helping cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. The 100RC website - - goes on to explain that:

“100RC supports the adoption and incorporation of a view of resilience that includes not just the shocks—earthquakes, fires, floods, etc.—but also the stresses that weaken the fabric of a city on a day to day or cyclical basis.

Examples of these stresses include high unemployment; an overtaxed or inefficient public transportation system; endemic violence; or chronic food and water shortages. By addressing both the shocks and the stresses, a city becomes more able to respond to adverse events and is overall better able to deliver basic functions in both good times and bad, to all populations.

Cities in the 100RC network are provided with the resources necessary to develop a roadmap to resilience along four main pathways:

1. Financial and logistical guidance for establishing an innovative new position in city government, a Chief Resilience Officer, who will lead the city’s resilience efforts
2. Expert support for development of a robust Resilience Strategy
3. Access to solutions, service providers, and partners from the private, public and NGO sectors who can help them develop and implement their Resilience Strategies
4. Membership of a global network of member cities who can learn from and help each other.

Through these actions, 100RC aims not only to help individual cities become more resilient but will facilitate the building of a global practice of resilience among governments, NGOs, the private sector, and individual citizens.”

London would join a network of cities from across the globe engaged in the 100RC programme. The following UK cities are participants:

• Belfast;
• Bristol;
• Glasgow; and
• Greater Manchester.

Objectives and expected outcomes

The appointment of Dr Fiona Twycross AM as the GLA’s first statutory Deputy Mayor for Fire & Resilience from 1 April 2018 has enabled the GLA to press ahead with London’s participation in the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100RC programme.


The GLA will work closely with the Rockefeller Foundation – and its 100 Resilient Cities programme directors – to build a long-term partnership to build and strengthen urban resilience. Over the next two years the groundwork for this partnership will be put in place to ensure that the London strand of the programme is a success and that urban resilience is embedded both in the work of the GLA and across partner organisations and more widely in London. This work would be led by the Deputy Mayor for Fire & Resilience on behalf of the Mayor.


The Deputy Mayor would also take on the designation within the 100RC programme of London’s Chief Resilience Officer. She would be supported in her work by a dedicated team including two new roles (fixed term appointments for two years) of Urban Resilience Manager (Grade 11) and Urban Resilience Policy Officer (Grade 9). Additional support would come from her wider team, from the London Resilience Group (LRG) and from other teams at the GLA.


London is a city that has existed for over 2,000 years. It is by its nature resilient having rebuilt itself following shocks as diverse as the plague, the Great Fire of London and the Blitz of the second world war. It is important, however, to avoid being complacent about the city’s ability to deal with both acute shocks and the chronic stresses presented by the 21st century. London faces diverse threats including terror attacks, floods and drought, economic inequality, the housing crisis and Brexit. As a city, careful planning is required to ensure that it navigates the challenges it faces so that London and Londoners have the resources required to continue to thrive.


As with other cities, the critical first step (to be completed within the first year of the programme) would be to draft a resilience strategy for London and an associated implementation plan. A planning workshop would be held in late October or early November 2018 to initiate the process of writing the strategy. This would draw together key stakeholders from the public, private and non-profit sectors and establish the priorities for the strategy. This workshop would also look at what resilience means for London and how communities of various kinds contribute to this resilience.


The London Urban Resilience Strategy will create a vision of what a ‘resilient London’ would look like and how key stakeholder organisations – and individual Londoners – can contribute. It will look at interdependencies and at how the resilience dividend can build on existing work linking up key partners to ensure that the city maximises its opportunities to bring strands of work together between teams, groups and organisations.


Critical to the strategy drafting process will be the following factors:

  • Close working with the London Boroughs and the City of London Corporation and their umbrella body London Councils;
  • Avoiding duplication with the work of the London Resilience Group (LRG) based in the London Fire Brigade but creating a synergy with the work of the LRG and the London Resilience Forum (LRF);
  • Constructive dialogue on challenges and gaps with policy and strategy leads in the GLA and its partner bodies;
  • Learning the lessons from international partner cities and bodies; and
  • A sense of ownership across all stakeholders in the capital.

Ensuring there is robust oversight of the process of drafting the strategy would be a key element of the governance of the project. There is considerable commitment to the 100RC vision and programme by partners on the LRF. It is envisaged that a sounding board would be established as a sub-group of the LRF. A project group would also be established at a senior level within the GLA to ensure that all the Deputy Mayors feel ownership of the strategy and that their teams develop an understanding of the resilience dividend, as it becomes more part of core business.


When the strategy is completed, it is envisaged that implementation would commence during the second year of the programme with the partnership between the GLA and 100RC continuing over subsequent years. It is intended for this implementation phase of the programme to be sufficiently successful for the structures and ways of working created for the initial two-year period to become embedded in the GLA and elsewhere in London government.


The GLA organogram relevant to the 100RC initiative is as shown on the signed decision form. 

Equality comments

Strong resilience arrangements will benefit all of London’s diverse communities.

Financial comments

There would be no direct immediate financial implications arising for the GLA as the funding provided by the Rockefeller Foundation would cover the full cost of the two posts (one at Grade 11 and one at Grade 9) at the GLA being established for a two-year period. The annual cost of the two posts is expected to equate to approximately £126,000 per annum.

It is possible that, after that two-year period and depending on exactly how the initiative is taken forward from that point, redundancy costs might arise for the GLA. Under that eventuality, those redundancy costs would be met from the general contingencies available.

Activity table



Programme commences

Late 2018

Strategy published

Late 2019

Programme concludes and next steps agreed

Late 2020

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