100 Resilient Cities

100 Resilient Cities description

New Orleans – Resilience Strategy

New Orleans

New Orleans, USA is a city located on the Gulf Coast of Louisiana. The municipal population of 380,000 is governed by the City Council and Mayor’s office. In 2005 New Orleans was devastated by Hurricane Katrina, resulting in flooding of an estimated 80% of the city. The City’s recovery from the storm demonstrated their inherent resilience and capacity to bounce back with demonstrable improvements in economic resilience, strong leadership capacity, and resource commitment to the environment. However, many stresses that faced the city prior to Hurricane Katrina persisted, and have been coupled with growing inequality.

The BIG U - New York City

New York

Lower Manhattan, New York City is home to approximately 220,000 people. This area contains some of the largest central business districts in the country, which are at the core of an economy with an annual GDP of approximately $500 billion, influencing economic activity throughout the world. More than 52 million visitors annually come to Lower Manhattan to see sites as the 9/11 memorial, Wall Street, Battery Park and take ferries to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The Lower Manhattan area also contains 35,000 affordable housing units, many of which were hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, and over 94,000 of the residents in this area are low-income, elderly, and/or disabled. The most vulnerable of the population live along the East River.

Following the devastating impacts of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the city was challenged to create protection for Lower Manhattan to ensure that New York City’s financial district and other key infrastructure can operate during and after a storm while maintaining and enhancing, local residents’ connection to the waterfront. Flood protection would be designed to enhance everyday life and address existing social, economic and health challenges.

Rotterdam – Creating an Office of Resilience


Rotterdam, Netherlands is a City located in Southern Holland. The municipal population of 620,000 is split into 14 boroughs, governed centrally by a city council, currently headed by Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb. Rotterdam has achieved a high level of success in developing best-in-class climate adaptation and water management strategies to address the threats of sea-level rise and pluvial flooding inherent in their unique geography and morphology. The City is currently striving to link these achievements with strategies for addressing other risks and in particular emerging social cohesion challenges.

Addressing the shocks and stresses with innovative and integrated solutions required a new direction and vision for resilience that would build off of the City’s recognized leadership in water and climate risk resilience.

City Resilience Index

Building resilience in cities requires an understanding of both what contributes to resilience and how it can be measured.  To address this gap, Arup has developed the City Resilience Framework and the City Resilience Index with support from The Rockefeller Foundation. These tools provide cities with a comprehensive, accessible, technically robust and globally applicable basis for assessing and measuring resilience at a city scale.