William Eichler 10 April 2018

Belfast appoints resilience commissioner

Belfast City Council has appointed a new commissioner to help the city prepare for any scenario that might prevent it from functioning properly.

The Commissioner for Resilience - the city’s first - will help build a comprehensive resilience strategy for Belfast, addressing major ‘shocks’ such as flooding, infrastructure failure and cyber-attack.

The new commissioner, Grainia Long, will also address ongoing ‘stresses’ such as fragile aspects of the city’s economy, economic exclusion, segregation, health inequalities and climate change.

The position will be funded for two years by a grant from the The Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities global network.

Belfast is one of only five cities in the UK to have been selected from over 1,000 applicant cities to participate in the network.

‘The Belfast Agenda sets out a number of ambitious economic and social goals for the next 25 years, and by working with the 100RC network, we can learn from many hard-won practical programmes and initiatives to ensure delivery of these goals,’ Ms Long said.

Ms Long, who is leaving her current post as chief executive of the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, added: ‘The role provides an opportunity to showcase on a global scale, Belfast’s story of growth and success as it has emerged from conflict.

‘I’m excited to be working with Belfast City Council and its partners in the interests of the communities we serve.’

Cllr Matt Garrett, chair of Belfast City Council’s Strategic Policy and Resources Committee, said: ‘We are delighted to be working with the Rockefelller Foundation and excited about the potential of this programme to bring some truly cutting-edge thinking to our city.

‘We’re in the process of implementing the Belfast Agenda while also finalising the Belfast Local Development Plan, so this is a really timely opportunity to take onboard factors which will make sure that our plans are robust.’

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