Saturday, August 20, 2011

What Makes a “Resilient City”?

Resilient Cities: Responding to Peak Oil and Climate Change by  Peter Newman co-authored with Timothy Beatley and Heather Boyer.  By ‘resilient’ they authors mean cities that can last, make it through crises, possessing inner strength and resolve, as well as appropriate built form and physical infrastructure.
The book calls for cities to plan for resiliency in response to depleting carbon-based fuels and climate change.  Of course, there are those that don’t believe we have reached peak oil or that climate change is a real threat.  However, for those of us on who are on-board, the authors provide seven elements vital for any city to become resilient:
  1. Renewable Energy City: Urban areas will be powered by renewable energy technologies from the region to the building level.
  2.  Carbon Neutral City: Every home, neighborhood, and business will be carbon neutral.
  3. Distributed City: Cities will shift from large centralized power, water, and waste systems to small-scale and neighborhood-based systems. 
  4. Photosynthetic City: The potential to harness renewable energy and provide food and fiber locally will become part of urban green infrastructure.    
  5. Eco-Efficient City: Cities and regions will move from linear to circular or closed-loop systems, where substantial amounts of their energy and material needs are provided from waste streams.
  6. Place-Based City: Cities and regions will understand renewable energy more generally as a way to build the local economy and nurture a unique and special sense of place. 
  7. Sustainable Transport City: Cities, neighborhoods, and regions will be designed to use energy sparing by offering walkable, transit-oriented options for all supplemented by electric vehicles. 
Bryna JonesBryna Jones is the Director of Communications at Hardy Stevenson and Associates Limited, and a member of the International Association of Business Communicators. Bryna’s project experience includes communications and marketing planning, advocacy campaign development, social media strategy, government relations, and project management. She also has considerable experience in copy writing and public speaking.