Community Resilience in a Federal Leadership Vacuum

Can you believe we’re nearly (only?) halfway through 2018? With news cycles not even lasting long enough for our ever-diminishing attention spans to process their ramifications, the feeling of collective cultural whiplash is palpable. That sense of exhaustion, and even helplessness at times, is magnified for those of us who care deeply about equity, sustainability, and climate change — the issues that will shape our common future.

After all, residents in Puerto Rico are still struggling with basic power and water needs post-Maria, even as a new hurricane season gets underway. Meanwhile (when not trying to score himself Rose Bowl tickets) EPA administrator Scott Pruitt is working hard to dismantle environmental protections that have improved the health of our communities, air, land, and water for half a century. And of course, these and countless other underreported stories are occurring against the backdrop of a presidential administration that denies the reality of climate change.

And yet, even in these trying times, there are extraordinary people working to create a greener, fairer future. Grassroots activists continue to push for a “just transition” away from dirty fossil fuels. Cities like Baltimore and Atlanta are experimenting with novel green infrastructure solutions to the challenge of a warming planet. And new energy technologies and guidelines are providing an unprecedented opportunity to change the built environment’s carbon footprint.

Here at the Island Press Urban Resilience Project, we’re committed to uplifting the voices of a diverse group of activists, academics, and practitioners who are championing these and other issues. Books like Barbara Brown Wilson’s new Resilience for All and online events like this week’s Urban Revitalization for All webinar (moderated by former DC mayor Anthony Williams!) are focused on featuring grounded, realistic strategies for cities and communities to foster greater equality.

Want to learn how you can get involved in the fight to forge a greener, fairer future? Visit our website for more info and to subscribe to our monthly newsletter (we’ll give you a free e-book if you do!). And of course, please sign up to join our free webinar on Friday so that you can add your voice to the conversation on how we can ensure today’s urban transformation works for everyone.