In a recent blog post, Cara Pike, director of the Social Capital Project of the Resource Innovation Group, provides an overview of some of the discussion topics at Garrison Institute’s March 2013 Climate, Cities, and Behavior Symposium on “Human Dimensions of Resilient and Sustainable Cities.”
In a reworking of the “bouncing back” aspect of resilience (the word comes from the Latin resilire, meaning to rebound or recoil), she raises the idea of bouncing forward:
At the crux of this conflict is the idea that resiliency is about resuming an original form, a bouncing back to what was. This fails to recognize that the status quo wasn’t working in the first place as we were already on an unsustainable and inequitable path. The desire to return to normal in the wake of a disturbance is understandable, however, what is needed is a “bouncing forward” to new approaches that tackle both the reality of a two-degree Celsius temperature increase as well as the systemic injustices that threaten the well-being of citizens who often also face some of the worst climate impacts.
This recognizes the phenomenon of “resilience to be fought” (raised, for example, by Hugh Deeming), as well as the interplay of persistence and transformation in Carpenter and Brock’s description of resilience.
The full set of videos and presentation slides available from the Garrison symposium can be found here. They include the following talks and others:
- Mindy Fullilove, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University – Disaster in the Context of Unmitigated Disaster
- Bob Doppelt, Executive Director of the Resource Innovation Group – Sustainability and Resilience Require A Shift From ‘Me to We’
- Missy Stults, doctoral student at University of Michigan – Fostering Resilience: From Theory to Operation
- Cassie Flynn, Co-founder of IOBY – Citizen-Led Innovation for Stronger, More Sustainable Neighborhoods
- Joann Jordan, Public Education Coordinator for Seattle Office of Emergency Management – Disaster Preparedness as a Catalyst for Building Community…Before it happens!
- Jennifer Hirsch, an applied anthropologist and community development consultant – Forging City-Community Partnerships for Climate Action – Lessons from the Social Sciences and Chicago