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"Today [September 4, 2014] the Urban Institute and the Rockefeller Foundation released an evaluation of the first phase of Rebuild by Design. The evaluation explores how the Rebuild by Design competition, an initiative of President Obama's Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, was designed, carried out, and could be replicated in other contexts.
Rebuild by Design launched in 2013 as an ambitious, unprecedented public-philanthropic partnership to identify opportunities to build physical, ecological, and economic resilience across the region. The winning proposals, announced earlier this year, represent a shift from disaster relief and recovery, which traditionally focuses on restoring communities to a pre-crisis state. Instead, these proposals reflect an approach to building resilience – championed by The Rockefeller Foundation – that engages designers, scientific experts, and the affected communities themselves to tackle together a set of issues in ways that recognize and anticipate the uncertainty of a future that is not like the past. The Rockefeller Foundation was the lead financial supporter of the competition.
"Rebuild by Design offered the Sandy region an opportunity to develop and invest in innovative and resilient ideas that translate into the difference between communities that will emerge stronger from a storm like Sandy and communities that may never fully recover," said Dr. Judith Rodin, president of The Rockefeller Foundation. 'The lessons we have learned from Rebuild by Design will have tremendous value for other places aspiring to become more resilient in an increasingly complex and volatile world.'
The evaluation revealed that even though the Rebuild by Design competition was limited to the Sandy recovery area, it has the potential to transform the way disaster recovery efforts are designed, funded, and implemented across the United States. The evaluation focuses solely on Phase I of Rebuild by Design, but it demonstrates that collectively communities and decision makers can respond to crises in creative ways and work as a region to become more resilient with adequate resources and knowledge."
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