The City of Paynesville has been admitted to the 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) network pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation aimed at helping the municipality to build resilience against challenges flooding, poor health, infrastructure deficit, sanitation, unemployment, globalization, among others.
The admission certificate was presented at an Agenda Setting Workshop held at the Paynesville City Hall by two officials of the 100 Resilient Cities: Liz Agbor-Tabi, Associate Director, City and Practice Management and Otis Rolley, Regional Director, City and Practice Management for Africa and North America. The milestone did not come on the spur of the moment but through the innovative leadership of Paynesville Mayor C. Cyvette Gibson following a rigid vetting process conducted by independent panel of Judges. Presenting the certificate, Miss Agbor-Tabi said the City of Paynesville will gain access to tools, technical expertise of other cities around the world and other resources to strengthen its resilience against challenges that are arising in the 21st century. “We help cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social, and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. Our panel of judges reviewed over 1,000 applications from cities across the globe but the judges looked for innovative mayors, a recent catalyst for change, a history of building partnerships, and an ability to work with a wide range of stakeholders,” the Rockefeller Foundation official said. “We are excited about the partnership with the City of Paynesville and this workshop is the beginning of the journey that we believe will be an important part of the transformation of the City. We are looking forward to a successful partnership,” she said. Commenting on concerns about structures in alleyways, Miss. Agbor-Tabi said the City of Paynesville will work with other cities who have dealt with similar situation before to handle the matter adding that this is why the 100RC network is important For her part, Mayor Gibson the admission of the City of Paynesville to the 100 Resilient Cities will give the city the requisite tools and expertise needed to build resilience and become a better city. “As a new member of 100 Resilient Cities, we can work with the best in the private, public and non-profit sectors in developing and sharing tools, plan and respond to challenges ahead. I am happy,” Mayor Gibson added. She said the Agenda Setting Workshop was part of effort to sit on the table with stakeholders and communities’ residents to carve a roadmap for the City of Paynesville. She added that the Paynesville City Corporation is working on its 10 years master plan for the city. Addressing a news conference at the Agenda Setting Workshop, Deputy Internal Affairs Minister for Urban Affairs, Stephen Neufville said the admission of the City of Paynesville into the 100RC will make the city safer and prepared to deal with challenges. In the months ahead, as part of the 100 RC network, the City of Paynesville is eligible to receive technical support to develop strategies that reflects the City’s important needs. Each member of the 100RC will gain access to variety of network members and partners in the various sectors in areas such as finance, technology, infrastructure, land use and social resilience. Cities within the network will be linked to a global network to share experiences and best practices in dealing with challenges. Paynesville City is poised to benefit from its share of a US$170 million grant set aside for members of the network. To this end, a Chief Resilient Officer will be appointed to lead the citywide resilience-building effort and engage stakeholders from across different government agencies, public and private sectors and various communities to incorporate diverse perspectives and knowledge. Sometime this year, PCC was chosen from a list of over 325 applicants on the basis of their willingness, ability and need to become resilient in the face of future challenges. Ten other cities on the continent, including Lagos, Nairobi, Addis Ababa, Cape Town and Luxor in Egypt, joined Paynesville in making the 100RCs. Eight American cities including Washington D.C., Seattle, Atlanta and Honolulu made it among the 100RCs, while three Canadian cities joined Montreal to the list. In the UK, two cities joined three that were already on the list to take the UK’s tally to five.