Apply Now: Small Cities Resilience Competition

The Small Cities Resilience Competition is specifically catered to cities under 100,000
The Small Cities Resilience Competition is specifically catered to cities under 100,000

Resilience has quickly become an invaluable framework for both government and private corporations to improve their operations, provide better services, and develop more holistic, interdisciplinary approaches to their work. By preparing for potential hazards and stresses that may challenge your community in the future, cities can often reduce risk, improve services, and identify other public benefits today. 

The Sustainable Cities Institute at the National League of Cities has teamed up with the Institute for Building Technology and Safety (IBTS) to offer a unique opportunity to cities through a new Small Cities Resiliency Competition. Cities of 100,000 or fewer residents are invited to apply for direct, on-the-ground assistance to improve their resilience through local projects. The process is designed to be simple, and applications are due Friday, April 28.

The winning city will receive a full-service resilience solution by IBTS and NLC -- assistance that is valued at over $40,000. This includes an on-site visit to complete an initial assessment, data-collection, mapping and geo-spatial analysis that will lead to a series of policy and development recommendations. Finally, these recommendations will be reviewed by  Wall Street Without Walls to best prepare them for any necessary capital investment.

Resilience is more than disaster preparedness so be ready to think creatively about projects that are important to your city. We encourage applicants to consider environmental, economic, or governance improvement projects. Examples of eligible projects include:

  • Water projects that address storm and sewer infrastructure, green infrastructure, urban tree coverage, and other projects to reduce storm impacts on vulnerable communities and increase opportunities for recreation and community activities.
  • Transportation projects that address aging infrastructure issues, increase economic attractiveness and decrease the isolation of underserved communities.
  • Public safety projects that upgrade capacity, increase reliability and broaden reach.
  • Energy projects that may assess renewable energy capacity, energy efficiency in your building portfolio, or grid reliability
  • Financial assistance to structure projects, protect credit ratings, and attract investors.
How the Application Process Works

Simply click “start my application” to be directed to the online application. The application consists of four essay questions (each question is a maximum of 250 words). Within the application, you will learn about the 3 areas of resilience- Social, Economic and Governance. Applications are due Friday, April 28.

+Apply Now!

Application Review and Judging

Once the applications are received, a panel of judges from will review the applications over a 4-6 week period.

Two to five finalists will be selected from the applications received for an initial assessment. This assessment will consist of developing an overall resiliency base line for the city and then the ranking of up to three projects to judge the effect on resiliency, if a project is undertaken.

Once the assessments are complete, the winner will be selected. What does it mean to win the Small Cities Resiliency Competition? The intention of NLC and IBTS in the selection of a winning city is to provide a full-service resilience solution. That means the winning city will receive technical consultations, planning services, cost-benefit analysis, and community development resources necessary to complete projects that improve the overall resilience of the city. It will also receive assistance identifying potential sources of funding or public private partnerships to implement a recommendation resulting from this process. The full value of these technical services, data collection, and recommendations is at least $40,000.