Greater Manchester’s Resilience Workshop 

Wed, 14 Dec 2016 10:39:00 GMT

Prof. Dilanthi Amaratunga was an invited facilitator at the Agenda Setting Workshop entitled “Creating a Resilient Future for Greater Manchester”, held at Manchester Town Hall on the 29th November 2016.

It was organised by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and 100 Resilient Cities, a $164 million programme pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation, where city leaders and practitioners from across Greater Manchester came together to collectively set the agenda for Greater Manchester’s resilience journey. 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) is an initiative dedicated to helping cities to be better prepared for and quickly rebound from 21st century shocks and stresses. 

The workshop brought together stakeholders from across the Greater Manchester to kick off and establish an agenda for the city-region’s engagement with 100RC. Approximately 150 participants from the public, private, and non-profit sectors convened to learn about the initiative, discuss Greater Manchester’s present resilience status, and begin to articulate priorities that will guide the city’s resilience strategy development process. The workshop agenda WAS structured to maximise interdisciplinary discussion through a series of structured and facilitated small group exercises. 

Announced earlier this year, the partnership between 100 Resilient Cities and Greater Manchester offers a unique opportunity to have a conversation about what resilience means for the city region and to develop a shared resilience agenda that will support future economic growth and sustain our communities.

Some of the speakers included:  

  • Councillor Rishi Shori, AGMA lead Leader for Resilience
  • Mike Owen, lead AGMA Local Authority Chief Executive for Resilience
  • Mike Blackburn, Chair of the GM Local Enterprise Partnership
  • Ian Hopkins, Chief Constable, Greater Manchester Police
  • Peter O'Reilly, County Fire Officer and Chief Executive, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
  • Andrew Westwood, Associate Vice President for Public Affairs, University of Manchester and Co-director of Policy@Manchester

Photo: Panel discussion

Prof. Amaratunga facilitated 3 modules:

  • Prioritising Greater Manchester’s challenges - The main purposes of this exercise were (a) to survey participants’ current understanding of Greater Manchester’s major shocks and stresses; and (b) to catalyse thinking about lesser-known or less obvious potential risks 
  • Assessing Greater Manchester’s Resilience - This exercise aimed to develop a preliminary assessment of Greater Manchester’s resilience by discussing areas of strength and vulnerability in the context of the City Resilience Framework (CRF). 
  • Understanding Interdependencies - The purpose of this exercise was to discuss interdependencies between shocks and stresses identified in previous exercises 

Photo: section of the participants

100 Resilient Cities (100RC), pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation, is a non-profit organisation dedicated to helping cities across the world prepare to meet the physical, social and economic challenges that exist as part of 21st century life. Greater Manchester was recently successful in its bid to join 100RC network.

100RC recognises that cities need to respond to the impacts of three 21st century worldwide trends:

  • Globalisation – cities are more interconnected than ever before and a system failure in one city can cause problems across the globe
  • Urbanisation – urban populations are growing rapidly with 70% of people projected to live in cities by the middle of the century, often in fragile ecosystems and with poor spatial planning and construction standards
  • Climate change – impacts of climate change are placing new social, fiscal and political pressure on urban systems

100RC describes resilience as being the capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses and systems within a city to survive, adapt and grow no matter what kind of chronic stresses and acute shocks they experience.


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