Mayor Peduto Press Releases
Pittsburgh Sustainability Manager Grant Ervin Named Chief Resilience Officer

PITTSBURGH, PA (June 5, 2015) The City of Pittsburgh, joined by 100 Resilient Cities - Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC), is kicking off the process of developing a comprehensive resilience strategy that will enable the city to better survive, adapt, and grow no matter what kinds of chronic stresses and acute shocks it experiences.

The city-led initiative began today with a “Resilience Agenda Workshop” that brings stakeholders across city government and from the private sector, non-profits, NGO’s and civic groups into the planning process.

It will also start to uncover some of the key threats the city is facing, and some of the resilience building tools and plans it has available to address those threats. In the months following the workshop, the city, led by a new Chief Resilience Officer, will continue to engage those stakeholders, resilience experts, and 100RC staff in drafting the plan.  Grant Ervin, the city’s sustainability manager, is being named as Pittsburgh’s Chief Resilience Officer.

“Pittsburgh is a city that builds on its strengths and learns from its weaknesses. By engaging in honest looks at our resiliency, what we’re really doing is planning ways to build a strong and enduring city,” Mayor William Peduto said. “We’re not only building a sustainable city that has with systems that last, but one that demonstrates a resiliencet one that to adapts its strengths over time.”

Pittsburgh is being supported in their resilience-building efforts by 100RC. The organization is dedicated to helping cities, in which an ever-growing percentage of people live, become more resilient to the shocks (i.e. hurricanes, fires, floods, etc.) and stresses (chronic water shortages, homelessness, unemployment, etc.) they are increasingly facing in the 21st century.  100RC provides this assistance to member cities through: funding for a Chief Resilience Officer who will lead the resilience efforts; resources for drafting a resilience strategy; access to private sector, public sector, and NGO-created resilience tools; and membership in a global network of peer cities to share best practices and challenges.   

In October the Mayor will attend the 100RC City Leaders Summit with leaders from all 67 cities worldwide participating in the Resilient Cities initiative. The event will take place at the Rockefeller Foundation’s center in Bellagio, Italy, from Oct. 1 to Oct. 4, 2015. The meeting will be a seminal event in building a global practice of resilience, and will seek to marshal the collective power and intellectual heft of the leaders of some of the world’s greatest cities to advance the practice of resilience.

Pittsburgh was selected in November as one of 67 members of what will ultimately be a 100-city global network, and will receive technical support and resources to develop and implement a resilience strategy.

More details about 100 Resilient Cities 100RC and the Challenge can be found below and at  

“City governments are on the front line of dealing with acute shocks and chronic stress. Pittsburgh is part of a group of cities leading the way on resilience to better prepare for, withstand, and recover more effectively when disruption hits,” said The Rockefeller Foundation President Judith Rodin. "Through this type of inclusive resilience planning, cities can be better prepared for the unexpected. They can also realize the resilience dividend, the economic and competitive advantages that come from taking a resilience mindset. Your commitment to resilience thinking, planning and action will set a global example.”

“Pittsburgh is helping fuel global momentum around building urban resilience, and leading by example,” said 100RC President Michael Berkowitz, President of 100 Resilient Cities. “The agenda workshop will clarify the city’s needs, surface innovative thinking, and give us a blueprint for engaging partners from across sectors to bring Pittsburgh the tools and resources needed to become more resilient.” 

The workshop is designed to bring together a range of constituencies including city officials, local businesses, civic groups and academia, to begin developing the city’s resilience plan. The plan will encompass a variety of factors, among them partnerships and alliances, financing mechanisms, and will pay particular attention to meeting the needs of poor and vulnerable populations. The workshop began the process of identifying priorities, actions and metrics as part of a resilience strategy for Pittsburgh.  The plan will be drafted over the next 6 to -12 months. 

About 100 Resilient Cities RC - Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation,  - and the 100RC  Resilient Cities Challenge

100 Resilient Cities (100RC) - Pioneered by Tthe Rockefeller Foundation – (100RC) is dedicated to helping cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century.  100RC supports the adoption and incorporation of a view of resilience that includes not just the shocks sudden, one-time occurrences – earthquakes, fires, floods, etc. – but also the stresses that weaken the fabric of a city on a day to day or cyclical basis.  Examples of these stresses include high unemployment; an overtaxed or inefficient public transportation system; endemic violence; or chronic food and water shortages.  By addressing both the shocks and the stresses, a city becomes more able to respond to adverse events, and is overall better able to deliver basic functions in both good times and bad, to all populations. 

Cities in the 100RC network are provided with the resources necessary to develop a roadmap to resilience along four main pathways: 1) Financial and logistical guidance for establishing an innovative new position in city government, a Chief Resilience Officer, who will lead the city’s resilience efforts; 2) expert support for development of a robust resilience strategy; 3) Connecting member cities to solutions, service providers, and other partners who can help them develop and implement their resilience strategies; and 4) Membership in a global network of member cities who can learn from and help each other. Through these actions, 100RC aims not only help individual cities become more resilient, but will facilitate the building of a global practice of resilience among governments, NGOs, the private sector, and individual citizens. 

The 100 Resilient Cities Challenge was launched in 2013 as a $150 million commitment to build urban resilience.  Officials or leaders or major institutions from over 700 cities have applied to the Challenge. Information is available here:

100RC is financially supported by The Rockefeller Foundation and managed as a sponsored project by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA), an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides governance and operational infrastructure to its sponsored projects.

Learn more about 100RC at and RPA at  

Press contact: Maxwell Young - ( // (917) 910-0553)

About The Rockefeller Foundation

The Rockefeller Foundation aims to achieve equitable growth by expanding opportunity for more people in more places worldwide, and to build resilience by helping them prepare for, withstand, and emerge stronger from acute shocks and chronic stresses. Throughout its 100 year history, The Rockefeller Foundation has enhanced the impact of innovative thinkers and actors working to change the world by providing the resources, networks, convening power, and technologies to move them from idea to impact. In today's dynamic and interconnected world, The Rockefeller Foundation has a unique ability to address the emerging challenges facing humankind through innovation, intervention and influence in order to shape agendas and inform decision making. For more information, please visit


Publish Date:
June 5, 2015

Grant Ervin
Chief Resilience Officer
office: 412-255-2255
City of Pittsburgh
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