Four cities in the US have been selected to receive Resilient Community Impact Funds (RCIFunds) matching grants of US$50,000 each. The selected projects all have the aim of strengthening community resilience, closing racial equity gaps, and supporting small businesses in resilience preparedness. The RCIFunds were established by the Resilient Cities Network (R-Cities), and are funded by the Bank of America.
“Through our commitment to the RCIFunds we have created a mechanism that will enable cities to undertake important work that will strengthen the resilience of vulnerable communities and enhance social cohesion and racial equity,” said Lauren Sorkin, executive director, Resilient Cities Network. “This is truly aligned with Resilient Cities Network’s mission.”
The four cities and their projects are:
- Atlanta, GA – Racial Equity through Neighbourhood Transformation : the city’s place-based transformation initiative has the central goal of eliminating persistent racial equity gaps. The initiative needs to identify capital and operating investments at sufficient scale and tailored to each neighborhood. The grant will go towards the development of the Thriving Neighbourhood Index – an initiative from the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Centre for Urban Research. The index will be used by stakeholders to measure their contribution to the overall holistic resilience of the place;
- Berkeley, CA – Berkeley Pilot Climate Equity Fund – Harvest Thermal & NCLT; the Fund was established in 2021 to provide climate change and resilience benefits to low-income residents. The city plans to use the RCIFunds to install highly efficient heat pumps in a community-controlled property;
- Los Angeles, CA – South LA Café Resilience Hub: a local minority-owned small business, the South LA Café serves under resourced families and individuals, along with providing training for entrepreneurs and small businesses. It will use the RCIFunds grant to expand its reach through a trusted community center to conduct community asset mapping and build out programmes for pre- and post-emergency management; and
- New Orleans, LA – The Lafitte Greenway Flow: The Lafitte Greenway Flow is a community development project that aims to redevelop a historic canal in a city park to mitigate neighborhood flooding and create cultural amenity space improvements. The RCIFunds will be matched by the Greater New Orleans Foundation, and will be used to develop a hydraulics and hydrology study to quantify the benefits of the project.
“Cities are more densely populated and interconnected than ever, which exposes social, economic and climate vulnerabilities,” said Rich Brown, environmental programme director at Bank of America. “The Resilient Community Impact Funds are providing funding to support projects that demonstrate the cost-effectiveness of resilience investments. Over time, these projects will allow cities to prevent and reduce the impact of shocks and stresses on the city’s residents, economy, infrastructure and environment.”