Resilience in U.S. Cities: A survey of policies& programs
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To understand how U.S. cities are operationalizing resilience, we surveyed 58 of the largest cities in the U.S. in 2019. The survey included questions about how cities define resilience, who is engaged in resilience efforts, and the policies and programs cities are adopting to build resilience. We complemented the survey with a web-based analysis of adoption and implementation of 109 different resilience policies and programs. We found: Most cities do not have a resilience plan or indicator system. City officials’ understanding of resilience is multi-faceted and includes a broad set of attributes. One-quarter of cities (24%) have not received any external funding for resilience. Federal agencies were the most common source of funding for cities that did receive funding for resilience projects. Resilience efforts are highly collaborative. In most cities, a large number of city agencies are engaged in resilience efforts and cities commonly coordinate with outside organizations. City sustainability, emergency management, planning, and public works departments appear to be the most important actors in resilience efforts. There is large variation in adoption of resilience policies across cities. The most prevalent policies align with the traditional sustainability agenda. Although cities consider reducing social vulnerability as a key attribute of resilience, policies to reduce social vulnerability are not widely adopted. Policies to harden critical infrastructure and plan for the impacts of climate change are relatively uncommon across the 101 largest cities in the U.S.
Woodruff, Sierra; Bowman, Ann; Feiock, Richard; Hannibal, Bryce; Kang, Ki Eun; Oh, Jeongmin; Sansom, Garett (2020). Resilience in U.S. Cities: A survey of policies& programs. Available electronically from