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Byblos hires Middle East's first chief resilience officer

Byblos is grappling with some of its toughest challenges in 7,000 years, including population growth, coastal erosion and decaying infrastructure. (Iryna1/shutterstock)

The future of the ancient metropolis of Byblos, Lebanon may hinge on a decidedly modern concept: a chief resilience officer. Maya Gebeily reports for Guardian Cities that Byblos, said to be the world’s oldest most continually inhabited city, is the first in the Middle East to hire a CRO to help it brace for a variety of natural and manmade shocks.

Tony Sfeir, who has coordinated the city’s disaster recovery and reduction efforts with the United Nations, has been hired for the job. The position was created as a result of the city’s participation in the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities network.

Sfeir faces a daunting task. According to the article, Byblos is grappling with some of its toughest challenges in 7,000 years. The hurdles include population growth, pollution, coastal erosion, decaying infrastructure, nearby sectarian violence and risks posed by earthquakes and storms.

(Disclosure: the Rockefeller Foundation is a lead funder of Citiscope.)

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