Six Foundations for Building Community Resilience

Daniel Lerch

In this paper David Lerch, Publications Director of the Post Carbon Institute and founding chair of the Sustainable Communities Division of the American Planning Association, offers a new framework for community resiliency. The “ability of a community to maintain and evolve its identity in the face of both short-term and long-term changes while cultivating environmental, social, and economic sustainability,” Lerch asserts, has six foundations—people, systems thinking, adaptability, transformability, sustainability, and courage. He draws on both ecological resilience science and local experience to demonstrate how communities can develop processes which allow them to make sense of complex challenges, build regenerative capacity, sense emerging risks, respond to new challenges, and adapt.

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