Pune: The City of Pune, in partnership with 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC), today officially announced the appointment of its ResilienceOffice and Bhaskar Bhattacharya as its candidate for Chief Resilience Officer, a brand-new role in the City of Pune that will work closely with the public and private sector to further Pune’s urban resilience mission.
The ResilienceOffice will work closely with key stakeholders across government departments to help Pune strengthen its internal communication, address the complexities of its challenges, and facilitate new prospects for collaboration with the growing private sector. The office will work closely with Commissioner Kumar as the Commissioner takes a leadership role in the 100RC network joining the new City Leader Advisory Committee to work with global peers to take collective action to solve urban challenges.
Pune Municipal Commissioner Kunal Kumar said, “In the coming decades, building urban resilience will be critical if cities are to survive, adapt and grow to meet the challenges of the future. As 100RC and its network work to develop tangible solutions and to inspire other cities to join the urban resilience movement, it is essential to have input and guidance from city leaders who have hands on experience dealing with the issues that impact cities. Strong local leadership is also important and that’s why I believe in the CRO model. I have chosen Bhaskar Bhattacharya as the tentative candidate to lead Pune’s resilience efforts because of his strong track record of effective project implementation. He will not only be a thought leader, he will also be a catalyst for action and he has my full support as he starts his work in Pune.”
The role of the CRO is to bring together a wide array of stakeholders to learn about the city’s challenges and rally support and resources for individual initiatives that help the city build resilience. He will also lead the development of Pune’s Resilience Strategy which will reflect key challenges and opportunities that will aid Pune in building a strategic and practical roadmap towards urban resilience.
Bhattacharya brings to the role vastexperience spanning 20 years in strategy, planning, operations and execution of infrastructure projects. In his career, he has played a leadership role in multi-stakeholder and multi-sector projects, including land acquisitions and a number of high profile projects related to defence infrastructure, urban and rural development as well as office and residential mega projects.
Saurabh Gaidhani, Program Manager at 100 Resilient Cities, said, “Today’s announcement of Pune’s first-ever CRO and the recent appointment of Pune’s Commissioner to the global advisory committee are testament to the critical role a city like Pune can play not just on the local or national level, but also on the global stage. Pune epitomizes New India in dealing with the pressures of urbanization but also the benefits of globalization from homegrown multinational companies. Pune is truly a city of opportunity that is well positioned to act as a guiding light to the new urban age of India while learning from its global peers.”
The Advisory Committee was unveiled last month at the 100 Resilient Cities Urban Resilience Summit in New York and is scheduled to meet for the first time in September 2017 in Athens in conjunction with the Athens Democracy Forum. Commissioner Kumar is the only representative from India on the Advisory Committee and joins colleagues from Mandalay and Sydney in representing perspectives from the Asia Pacific region. The Advisory Committee members will advise on policy and advocacy, act as global champions and help 100RC identify and prioritize key issues essential to building urban resilience as 100RC pivots to implementing resilience building projects in cities.
Pune has been a member of the 100RC network since 2016. Its urban resilience challenges include: disease outbreak, earthquakes, lack of affordable housing, poor air quality, rainfall flooding, terrorist attacks, and water insecurity. The Pune CRO is the 80th CRO to be appointed in the 100RC network worldwide. To learn more about Pune’s resilience challenges and opportunities, please visit www.100resilientcities.org.
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