Matera application form

This wiki starts with a copy/paste of a blank application form. We then proceed to fill in the fields.

Update: we are in the process on writing this here. Get in touch if you want access.

City*: Matera

Country*: Italy

First name*: Paolo

Last name* : Verri

Organization name*: Comitato Matera 2019

Email address*:

Phone number 1

First name 2 (You may list an additional representative.): Alberto

Last name 2: Cottica

Organization name: Edgeryders

Email address 2:

Phone number 2: +32 4 8507 4709

1. The Rockefeller Foundation defines resilience as the ability of a system, entity, community, or person to withstand shocks while still maintaining its essential functions and to recover quickly and effectively.  How does this definition of resilience resonate with your city? What are the five most pressing resilience-building priorities for your city?* (2000 characters) [Note: more RF links on resilience are here]

We can use some of the challenges collected through the unMonastery workshops exercise in the spring?

It is inevitable to speak about the Sassi cave-dwellings, the historical neighbourhoods which were considered “national shame” in the 50’s and then inscribed in the UNESCO World heritage list in 1993 as 1st “cultural landscape” site. The international expert Pietro Laureano, who wrote out the UNESCO bid, argued that what had to be preserved was the architectural practice functional to the building of the Sassi settlement and to the maintanance of a sustainable micro-climate in a place of scarce resources. For Laureano, the Sassi are a matrix of sustainable techniques to collect water and manage light and heat which can be found all over the mediterranean, up to China. He is in the process of building an online database for UNESCO which collects all the traditional knowledge (“the deepest layer on which our science and culture have developed”), aka “local solutions which have allowed the creation and management of ecosystems and cultural landscapes on the entire surface of the planet”.

Pietro is an internationally known expert in the field. He is very busy but incredibly generous when it comes to Matera. His contribution related to content can be easily found online (articles, interviews); his contribution can also be in contacts accross the world, if needed.

Recently, the Management Plan for the Sassi has been published: it is mandatory for each UNESCO site to have one. 20 years later Matera starts the process (out of the Sovrintendenza’s initiative). A participative approach was adopted. A 1st draft of the Management Plan can be found here.

2. Do you have a formal risk assessment for your city? What are the most significant hazards, shocks, and stresses that your city faces and how do they affect the ability of your city to function?* (2000 characters)

I (Alberto) discovered that a formalized assessment exists but was never formally adopted by the City Council. Its author was Pio Acito, leader of local environmentalist association Legambiente and the local branch of Protezione Civile volunteers.

The plan focuses on the risks of earthquakes (Italy is geologically young and the whole country is a seismic area; 21 earthquakes were recorded between 1694 and 1980) and floods and landslides (the land is made of different materials with different physical responses: clays, limestone, marine sediment; 16 landslides are on record within the city limits in the past 50 years; 20 floods on record in 1928-1977). Less Matera-specific risks mentioned by the plan include: heavy showfall; hailstorms; hurricanes; wildfires; risks related to transporting toxic chemicals for manufacturing; nuke-related risks (there is a site for storage of nuclear waste 40 kms south) and even the peak religious festivity, which claims a toll of snapped ribs and broken limbs each year (you think I’m joking?).

The local Protezione Civile network has contingency plans, mainly focused on earthquakes.

  • linked to climate change: drought, desertification (calanchi), loss of productive land
  • linked to land management: cementification 
  • social impact: speculation (people living in appartments which are inscribed as offices), is there such a thing as the long term effects of living in an ugly neighbourhood? It is not only linked to the lack of services or low quality ones linked to urban planning, but it is also the question of what does it mean to grow up in an ugly environment. 
  • waste management: critical issue

3. Many cities already have some activities that are directly relevant to building resilience.  What specific current or recent project(s), urban plan(s) or policy(ies) has made the most significant positive contribution to the resilience of your city? Were there innovations that you can describe?* (2000 characters)

The unMonastery is certainly one. Others?

Initiatives from the civic society, whether through organizations or personal initative: the activities of Legambiente (innovative?), Profumo di Svolta, Casa Netural.

Policies and urban planning: see questiopns in the mt2019 bid related to future of urban policies and citie’s strategic development plan. For the moment the dossier is not public yet, but the last version “leaked” out of the committee and can be found here.

4. How do the hazards, shocks and stresses that you’ve articulated impact your city’s poor and vulnerable residents? How do you define poverty and vulnerability within the context of your city?* (2000 characters)

In the ECOC 2019 process, the vulnerable group selected by the conversation (which was open and online) were the emigrants (not the immigrants): i.e. Materans in their 20s and 30s forced by lack of opportunities to migrate to northern Italy or abroad. This does not make any group in the city more vulnerable, but makes the whole city more vulnerable as its demographic pyramid is reversed, and its productive capacity and cultural capital are slashed. Does this make sense?

5. Describe how you will bring multiple stakeholders, including the private sector and other levels of government (e.g., state and or national) together in developing and executing a plan to build resilience. Please give examples of key stakeholders.  Which stakeholders do you think are the most relevant and most critical to success?* (2000 characters)

Lots of work here that MT2019 has already carried out. Can be collected through an interview. And in the bid.

6. What specific technical support would you seek for the development of a resilience plan (such as financing mechanisms, technology and data analytics, land-use planning, infrastructure, and community/social resilience capacity building)?  What specific technical support would you seek for implementing a resilience plan? Are there solutions or solution providers/ companies with which your city has already worked with or would like to work?* (2000 characters)

Interesting question! Notice the list (financing mechanisms, technology and data analytics…) that gives an idea of what we are thinking about.

7.What is the desired impact you want your resilience plan to have in terms of success?   How might the plan impact various communities, especially poor or vulnerable residents?* (2000 characters)

Poorly framed question. The whole point of resilience is to cope with unplanned-for events, so you can only talk about impacts contingent on specific scenarios. That said, public awareness is probably a key goal (if not “impact”).

8. How do you envision the role of a Chief Resilience Officer?  Beyond salary support, what structure would be established to enable the CRO to succeed in building your city’ resilience?  We recommend that the CRO would have a direct reporting line to the mayor or a senior official. If you already have someone in a similar function/role, what duties and powers is he or she currently vested with?* (2000 characters)

Interesting design issue. No idea yet.

9. One key element to 100RC is the creation of the 100 Resilient Cities Network to facilitate sharing of best practices and lessons learned as well as become a source of knowledge on urban resilience building. What are the things your city would like to gain from the network and what are three things your city would contribute to the network?* (2000 characters)

The contributions might have something to do with surviving demographic shocks, seismic risk and water shortages. For the same reason, these are also the areas that Matera would like to learn about.

10. Are you currently a participant in or have you participated in other networks? Which ones?* (500 characters) 

Certainly ECOC-based networks. Will ask about other ones.

11. What about your city in particular makes you a good candidate for 100 RC?  What unique perspective, knowledge, or capability do you bring? What essential problem must be addressed whose solution can also be replicable for other cities?* (2000 characters)

A very long track record of surviving as a continuously inhabited settlement (x 10^3 years) might be an important asset. The problem now – which arguably generalizes to many cities on the planet – is how to survive as a small city when you are not on the main communication axis.

12. Include a link to a map of your city in which you highlight and annotate areas and features of particular importance to your application responses.*

We did one for the unMonastery, but it will need major editing.

13. Please attach your letter of support from the senior-most representative of your city’s government, whether elected or appointed.*

 I agree to all rules and legal conditions associated with this challenge.*

I am 18 years of age or older.*

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RF 100 RC applicant conference call feedback

Also, please find the following bullets that we feel will help you as you work through the application process.

Definition of Resilience: The Rockefeller Foundation defines resilience as “the ability of a system, entity, community, or person to withstand shocks while still maintaining its essential functions and to recover quickly and effectively.” Simply put, resilience is what enables people to survive, adapt, and thrive in the face of acute shocks and chronic stresses.

Resilience is local: the Foundation put forth a broad definition of resilience, but for your application, focus in on areas that is of most urgent priorities for your city – for its geography and its people. Specific priorities will allow you to describe specific support your city needs to become more resilient.

Be concise: The application form once fully completed is designed to be approximately 5 pages long, each question is limited by character limits, and it counts all spaces and punctuations.

Don’t be repetitive: Given such limited space, some of the questions ask for different facets of one issue, such as how your plan will consider poor or vulnerable people during such events, and what knowledge or skills you bring to the network. Take the opportunity to bring in new elements in each of the questions.

Clarify your needs: Based on the priorities you state in the application, the interventions you need to implement the resilience plan will be specific to those priorities. Be less concerned about what you will receive to make the plan a reality but be crystal clear on what you need to make your plan happen.

Position your strengths: The application asks you to report on any progress your city has already made. If you’ve not yet made any progress towards the priorities that you outline in the application, talk about the work you have done in other areas to demonstrate your city’s effectiveness or what you think is needed for your city to be effective.

The applicants are located across the globe and face a wide variety of challenges with a broad range of experience in tackling those challenges. The network is designed to bring together a diverse set of cities in geography, demography, as well as experience to ensure that you can all learn from each other.

Wow it’s a FormStorm I’ve missed.