Community resilience

Community resilience to climate changeResilience is the ability to bounce back quickly from an adverse situation. A community is resilient when it is able to effectively to prepare for, recover from, and thrive after difficult situations. Some of the significant current challenges facing Minnesota communities relate to extreme weather and other impacts of our changing climate.

A community’s assets help to increase its resilience. These assets represent a strength of a community. Creating assets for climate resilience may be straightforward (such as planting trees in yards and boulevards) or less direct (such as creating phone trees to check in on vulnerable neighbors).

What can community assets for resilience do?

  • provide places where people gather and recognize neighbors
  • offer safe and durable shelter to withstand extreme weather
  • generate renewable power
  • absorb rainwater to reduce flooding and replenish aquifers
  • use vegetation to provide shade and improve air quality
  • build social networks to support people in need due to extreme weather
  • bring healthy local food to underserved areas

Investing in these assets to strengthen community resilience provides multiple benefits for human health, the economy and the environment. These help to build the relationships and social fabric that research has shown are important for communities to prepare for and recover successfully from challenges such as extreme weather events.

Key challenges and strategies

Looking more specifically at issues related to climate change, Minnesota communities may confront some key challenges that require thoughtful strategies.

Resources

  • Minnesota GreenStep Cities - Implementation resources for best practices to increase the sustainability and resilience of communities through public engagement and local government action.