January 2017 | Business View Magazine

68 69 Atlanta, Georgia “By 2050, it’s expected that 80 percent of the world’s population is going to be con- centrated in cities,” says Stephanie Stuckey Benfield, Chief Resilience Officer of the City of Atlanta, Georgia. “And,when you look at some of the impacts of climate change, cities are often the hardest hit, and they’re also on the front lines of implementing policy and programs that can actually combat climate change and other stresses and shocks that cities face.” In order to explore how cities across the world intend to meet the challenges of global warming and the rapid changes that will be caused by the increasing population of the planet’s urban cores, the Rockefeller Foundation created the 100 Resilient Cities Initiative-a $164,000,000 project with a completion date set for the fall of 2017. The Foundation began working with its first group of 32 cities in December, 2013. In 2014, it named its second cohort of 35 cities. In May, 2016, the final group of 33 cities was announced, and Atlanta was invited to par- ticipate because it satisfied the Foundation’s criteria–it had an innovative mayor, a history of building partnerships, and a proven ability to work with a wide range of stakeholders. Atlanta, Georgia A resilient city Stephanie Stuckey Benfield That’s the whole reason for the program. Cities can learn best practices from one another and there’s a lot of collaboration. Mexico City, for example, has the same type of flooding problems as Atlanta; so does Capetown. So, I can have a conversation with the Resilience Officer in those two cit- ies and we can share best practices about how they’ve dealt with those issues. Stephanie stuckey benfield Chief Resilience Officer of the City of Atlanta AT A GLANCE ATLANTA, GEORGIA WHAT: The state capital with a population of approximately 465,000 WHERE: Central Georgia, near the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains WEBSITE: www.atlantaga.gov