2020 Leadership in Community Resilience Program Application


Applications Due December 20, 2019

The National League of Cities is currently accepting applications from member cities to participate in the 2020 Leadership in Community Resilience (LCR) program. The goal of LCR is to improve the capacity of local governments as they identify and achieve their climate resilience and disaster preparedness benchmarks. Since 2017, a total of 25 cities have successfully participated in the program. 

The resilience concept is being embraced by all sectors of government as a holistic, proactive approach to mitigate risk, improve the reliability and capacity of city services and critical infrastructure, and adapt to changing conditions. City plans and programs designed to increase preparedness in advance of shocks can save lives and reduce recovery costs. These efforts can take many forms including community engagement, reducing resident vulnerability to climate impacts, or capacity building for staff and elected officials. 

LCR supports city projects by focusing on planning, implementation, and peer-learning among cohort cities. Applicants should be able to achieve substantial completion of their proposed project in one year. 

Assistance will be delivered in four ways:

  • $10,000 grant to build local resilience capacity by supporting an implementation project or hosting a mayoral-level engagement event.
  • Technical Assistance from NLC staff (e.g., consultation, accountability, case studies, and best practices).  
  • An invitation and travel support to an in-person convening for your mayor and one key staff member (2020 date and location TBD). 
  • NLC Staff city visit. At least one NLC staff member will support your project with a site visit. Depending on your city's needs, these visits can be used to facilitate public engagement, leverage support from elected officials, help coordinate key partners, and other related activities. 

To be considered:

  1. Applications must be received by December 20, 2019.
  2. Cities will be selected by January 31, 2020.
  3. Program begins shortly thereafter, and assistance continues throughout the calendar year. 



Q. Who is eligible to apply for this program?

Only cities are eligible. City staff (preferably department or agency heads) or elected leaders may apply on behalf of their city or town.

Q. What level of engagement and participation is expected throughout this year-long resilience program?

NLC staff will hold monthly check-in calls with each city to review scope of work, receive updates, and provide project support as needed. NLC may host webinars to help cities develop relationships among peers, share goals and challenges, and learn about related topics. Webinars may feature NLC partners who can provide additional resources. 

Cohort cities are also expected to:
•    Designate a lead point person responsible for corresponding with NLC staff throughout the year. This person will also act as a peer resource to other cohort cities as requested by NLC.
•    Participate in webinars and monthly check-ins. NLC staff will be available for more support/communication if desired.
•    Use $10,000 in grant funding provided by the NLC to contribute to your local climate preparedness or adaptation goals. 
•    Provide a summary report upon conclusion of the grant on the outcomes of the program, its effectiveness, as well as lessons learned and recommendations that will aid future work in this area.

Q. What topics will NLC consider as project themes?

•    Renewable energy/ solar + storage
•    Green Infrastructure/ stormwater management 
•    Climate-related hazard mitigation
•    Land Use
•    Food Systems
•    Nature-based solutions
•    Climate justice
•    Disaster preparedness (climate-related)
•    Greenhouse gas inventories and air quality assessments 
•    Regional climate collaborations or coalitions

You may find other topic ideas by looking at past cohort projects

Q. How much funding will be provided for each city and how can it be utilized to help strengthen and elevate local resilience?

Program awardees will receive a $10,000 grant to support an implementation project or mayoral-level local resilience event. Funding may be used for a variety of uses such as a charrette process, community engagement workshops, staff or city council trainings, a regional summit and other related activities. We encourage cities to use these funds to support existing efforts or city priorities.

Q. Are there other opportunities for the resilience cohort to convene and expand their network of climate resilience experts?

All cohort cities will be invited to participate in an in-person convening where local elected officials and staff can engage with resilience experts to share challenges, successes, as well as new strategies to support city-led resilience building efforts. Each city will receive an invitation and travel support for their mayor and lead staff contact to attend 2020 date are TBD). 

Additionally, past cohort cities have successfully partnered with the Urban Land Institute, ICLEI, Davey Tree, NREL, NASA, Arizona State University, LEED for Cities (formerly STAR Communities), the Thriving Earth Exchange, ecoAmerica, IBTS, and others to receive customized project support.