A pledge to commit at least 10 percent of Pittsburgh’s operating and capital budget spending to disaster preparedness and infrastructure improvement projects has garnered $5 million in funding from the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities program. Mayor Bill Peduto announced the resilience pledge over the weekend while attending the Resilient Cities Summit in Bellagio, Italy.
“This pledge builds on our already fiscally sound budgeting practices, and allows us to further target city resources toward making our neighborhoods and financial structures even more resilient,” Peduto said in a statement. “We’re looking at how we allocate our expenditures to reduce our carbon footprint and impact on the environment, while at the same time improving the services and efficiency of local government.”
Signing the resilience pledge does not involve spending additional money, according to the mayor’s office, but acts as motivation to make sure city taxpayer-funded projects are getting the most bang for their buck, so to speak. An investment in upkeep and renovation of senior citizens’ centers, for instance, could achieve the twin goals of emergency preparedness and infastructure improvements, the mayor’s office said in a news release.
The funds can be invested into current and new projects, according to the mayor’s office.
The Rockefeller Foundation previously provided funding for the city of Pittsburgh to create a “chief resilience officer” position, a role currently held by city sustainability manager Grant Ervin. He is tasked with developing the city’s resilience plan. And Pittsburgh is one of the first group of 10 U.S. cities participating in the Resilience AmeriCorps, a public-private partnership with the Cities of Service, the Corporation for National and Community Service and the Rockefeller Foundation.