Community Planning: Designing for Resilience

 In Climate Action Plans

The foreseeable future will require creative methods of adaptation. Cities across the nation are establishing extensive climate action plans that will aid in the development of climate resilient infrastructure and technology. Until recently, the advancement of human systems has given little thought to the natural world, with focus and growth directed mainly at financial gains. But this method of development has proven to have its limits inciting new and complex challenges which now require a more circular approach.

The term “resilience thinking” initially took origin within the ecology sector but has since expanded across broader systems thinking. Adaptation is a central concept when designing for resilience and can be best inspired by natures self-organizing system. Planning practitioners, architects, engineers and city officials can improve upon existing methods of development by integrating natures methods into our built environment creating a mutually beneficial system for humans and the planet. Problems related to food security, waste, energy use, biodiversity loss and the depletion of natural resources are of high priority and are best managed by utilizing cognitive frameworks that highlight connectivity.

Organizing operations, improving policies and mobilizing grassroots efforts which focus on resiliency and sustainability will require a participatory approach in the environmental, social, political, technological and economic sectors. Even though cities are only on the brink of progress for the type of systemic changes needed for long term sustainability, many actions are being taken with resilience in mind.

These solutions have scalable potential, providing communities with optimal benefits environmentally, socially and economically.

  • Mitigating Climate Change with Green Infrastructure
  • Improvement of Soil Health, through Commercial Composting and the Use of Cover Crops
  • Conserving and Restoring Habitats Through City Landscapes
  • Incentives to Deconstruct and Renovate over Demolition
  • Encouraging Farmers to Use Regenerative Practices
  • Inspiring the Use of New Technology for Year-Round Urban Food Growth

While it is not entirely clear what the future will bring, the ability to adapt and transform will be a key element in human survival. As we move forward, creating balance should be the guiding force. Problems can no longer be addressed from a one-dimensional standpoint. Human development requires a “whole-systems” approach which truly embraces everything nature provides us to flourish.






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