What does community resilience mean?

Resilience is the ability of a system or community to withstand impacts from outside. An indicator is a way of measuring that.

Conventionally, the principal way of measuring a reducing carbon footprint is CO2 emissions. However, we firmly believe that cutting carbon while failing to build resilience is an insufficient response when you’re trying to address both peak oil and climate change.

So how might you be able to tell that the resilience of the settlement in question is increasing?

Resilience indicators might look at the following:

  • percentage of food grown locally
  • amount of local currency in circulation as a percentage of total money in circulation
  • number of businesses locally owned
  • average commuting distances for workers in the town
  • average commuting distance for people living in the town but working outside it
  • percentage of energy produced locally
  • quantity of renewable building materials
  • proportion of essential goods being manufactured within the community within a given distance
  • proportion of compostable “waste” that is actually composted

While some indicators will be universal, many will be place-specific and will emerge from the energy descent plan process.

One response to “What does community resilience mean?

  1. This is an absolutely fantastic initiative. Despite its small size, at least its a step in the right direction.

    Consider a scenario in which a natural disaster shuts off the power grid; being less dependent upon outside sources of electricity will be a boon in that case. Similarly, if oil prices rise drastically, or oil becomes unavailable, then having alternative options (alternative fuels, dependence upon different types of transportation) will ensure life can continue in a place like meaford. In a large city, say, toronto, the absence of fuel/electricity will no doubt cause major upheaval as people struggle to get food, and will conceivably cause an exodus of people to areas in which they can sustain themselves. If meaford (and other small-ish towns) can gain a degree of independence, then they will become the obvious choice to live in the event of a catastrophe.