One-Hit Wonders

The Rockefeller Foundation defines “urban resiliency” as a city’s ability to survive, adapt and grow in the face of any shock or stress. But surviving, adapting and growing aren’t unique urban capabilities.

Full disclosure my good and faithful reader! This week’s blog is going to be even more disjointed and roundabout than normal. Just keeping you on your toes….

I think that discussing awesome one-hit wonder songs might be one of the best possible uses of your time. Seriously, who doesn’t enjoy this? In the right company, this topic of conversation can literally last for hours.

I found this list on BuzzFeed recently. It’s pretty strong. My personal favorites, in terms of singing these songs over and over again while unashamedly blasting them on my car stereo with the windows down, would have to be “To Be With You” and “Come On Eileen.” Fun fact – I’ve listened to the latter of those songs 23 times in a row before. I regret nothing.

For me, one song on that list is unique. I think it’s cursed or something. Heck, I don’t know. How else would you explain its ability to simultaneously grate on my nerves while forcing me to sing along with a goofy grin on my face? That song is, of course, the oddly-named “Tubthumping,” performed by the even more oddly-named band Chumbawamba.

This is the moment I have to apologize to you, dear reader. I deserve every bit of your derision and scorn. Yes, I know that that this song will now be stuck in your head for the rest of the week, and for that, I am sorry. 

“I get knocked down, but I get up again – you’re never gonna keep me down.”

“I get knocked down, but I get up again – you’re never gonna keep me down.”

Ugh. Endless.

But you know what? That lyric pretty well encapsulates the word “resiliency.” [Sidebar: that was my pivot to relevancy, and trust me, I’m as relieved as you are.]

A couple of weeks ago, I was honored to participate in a workshop jointly hosted by the City of Atlanta and the Rockefeller Foundation. It was an introductory workshop for the city’s participation in Rockefeller’s 100 Resilient Cities Initiative. I was thrilled to learn over the summer that Atlanta had been included in the third wave of this program.

The idea is simple and brilliant. Rockefeller is providing funding for 100 global cities to develop and implement plans that make the cities more resilient to their respective short-term shocks and long-term stressors. Our agenda for the workshop was just as simple (and complicated) – we worked to determine what shocks and stressors are the biggest threats for Atlanta.

Over the next year, I will share more about the developments of this program in Atlanta, but I am grateful to the Rockefeller Foundation to say the least. Atlanta is a wonderful city, but it has its challenges. It is important that we address what we can now, and prepare for those challenges that are looming.

But as a closing thought, I want to emphasize how important of a concept “resiliency” is. Rockefeller defines “urban resiliency” as a city’s ability to survive, adapt and grow in the face of any shock or stress. But surviving, adapting and growing aren’t unique urban capabilities. Rather, they are valuable goals for all of us.

And what’s the best resiliency example out there? Mother nature. Which reminds me that I haven’t written a biomimicry blog post in awhile.... 

See y’all next week!

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