Why Community Resilience?
In the 21st century, we face a set of interconnected economic, energy, and environmental crises that require all the courage, creativity, and cooperation we can muster. These crises are forcing us to fundamentally rethink some of our most basic assumptions, like where our food and energy come from, and where we invest our savings.
While national and international leadership are key to navigating the bumpy road ahead, that leadership thus far is sadly wanting. And, in any case, many of the best responses to these challenges are inherently local.
Thankfully, a small but growing movement of engaged citizens, community groups, businesses, and local elected officials are leading the way. These early actors have worked to reduce consumption, produce local food and energy, invest in local economies, and preserve local ecosystems. While diverse, the essence of these efforts is the same: a recognition that the world is changing and the old way of doing things no longer works.
So why resilient communities? Communities, because we believe that the most effective ways to work for the future we want are grounded in local relationships—with our families and neighbors, with the ecological resources that sustain us, and with the public institutions through which we govern ourselves. Resilience, because the complex economic, energy, and environmental challenges we face require not solutions that make problems go away but responses that recognize our vulnerabilities, build our capacities, and adapt to unpredictable changes.
These are challenging times. But they are also full of opportunity. We hope the Community Resilience Guides and the Resilience website serve to inspire you and help you build resilience in your own community.