January 2018
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Announcing the Global Livable Resilient City Network

On the heels of the MAS Summit for New York City, MAS is initiating the Global Livable Resilient City Network (GLCRN) to bring together global cities to share strategies and approaches that foster livability and resilience. The inaugural meeting of this learning network will take place in this November at the prestigious Villa Serbelloni in Bellagio, Italy. Villa Serbelloni is a conference center operated by the Rockefeller Foundation that has given birth to game-changing approaches to global challenges in public health, education and agricultural production.

Cities everywhere face many similar challenges, but the world’s global cities—ones which drive global finance, culture and social innovation—must address a set of conditions particular to their size, scale, and intensity. The density and diversities (of all kinds) that these cities generate are extraordinarily productive, but they also pose extraordinary challenges. We are creating this network to better identify the range of challenges and innovative responses, while strengthening the field of resilient, livable city-building.

Inherent to the resilience of a city is the degree to which it is also livable. If the livability of a city is compromised, so too is its capacity to be socially, economically, culturally and environmentally resilient. Global cities are continuously building resilience as economic, social and environmental changes require them to be adaptive. Similarly, global cities are under constant pressure to maintain a quality of livability that retains their existing population and integrates a steady stream of newcomers. Yet livability and resilience in cities are rarely considered in tandem. Efforts to boost a city’s resilience are siloed from those working on livability, and vice versa.

The Network will provide platforms for diverse practitioners—drawn from civil society, business, the design professions, artists, academic institutions and government—to identify strategies and approaches that promote urban livability and resilience. The Network will also address the conditions that are inhibiting livability and resilience and the most effective approaches in the worlds most challenged and challenging cities. This type of civil society leadership that MAS is providing is critical to creating a viable, sustainable network that draws on public and private sector resources and expertise.

The Network will boost the livability and resilience of participating global cities by creating peer-to-peer learning that will enhance the livability and resilience of their cities, and beyond. Using face-to-face meetings, and digital media tools, the network will stimulate innovation between the member cities, and provide a solid base to build a livable and resilient city knowledge market, to be shared with a broader urban constituency.

The impacts of the network will include new synergies between the business, community, institutional and public sectors that cross continents; development of new financial models and partnerships; inclusion of livability and resilience as integrated goals in the international practice of urban planning, design and infrastructure development; mobilization of local innovation; and new governance models that more effectively respond to the urban challenges of resilience and livability.