Beyond Disasters: Making Resilience a Sustainable Advantage for Communities

2015 Western Planner Conference 

Presenters: Brian E. Wilkerson & Melissa Antol

Thursday, August 20, 2015
3:30 – 4:45 p.m.
Hilton Garden Inn
2229 Grand Ave
Laramie, WY 82070

Resilience has come to the forefront of the Planner’s agenda. From floods and wildfires to economic challenges, the need to create resilient communities is great. But often the focus on resilience comes after some sort of disaster occurs. Resilience can be an integrated part of how communities plan and can bring a sustainable advantage in their economic development efforts. This presentation will describe an innovative approach for building resilience while also building an advantage for the community through a “Community First” planning approach. It will discuss how communities can identify priorities, align stakeholders, and measure the success of their efforts.

This session will begin with a definition of resilience and brief outline of the case for building resilience.

Presenters will solicit from the audience their own experiences and challenges with getting support for building resilience, as well as the consequences of communities who have faced disasters. Next a model for assessing resilience that is also tied to community economic development needs will be presented and discussed, and its application to various community profiles (rural, suburban, urban with various socio-economic demographics) will be examined. Presenters will then discuss an innovative approach for identifying and prioritizing activities that not only build resilience, but also take care of community economic needs and build a sustainable advantage for economic development. This will also include methods for building stakeholder participation and support.  A brief case study will be presented at this time. This will include an audience participation exercise where attendees will be asked to play the role of various community stakeholder groups with differing opinions. This brief exercise will help demonstrate the approach and its effectiveness. The presenters will then wrap up the content portion with a set of guiding principles and a multi-step approach for resilience planning, followed by audience Q&A.

By the end of the session, participants will be able to:
Model the linkage between resilience priorities and economic development needs in their communities. Define resilience priorities that also create a sustainable advantage for economic development.
Develop a process for engaging stakeholders and building community support for resilience activities

August 18 – 21, 2015
Meet in the heart of the true Wild West at Laramie, Wyoming

Register for the conference here!

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