Resilience for All
6 x 9
6 x 9
In the United States, people of color are disproportionally more likely to live in environments with poor air quality, in close proximity to toxic waste, and in locations more vulnerable to climate change and extreme weather events.
In many vulnerable neighborhoods, structural racism and classism prevent residents from having a seat at the table when decisions are made about their community. In an effort to overcome power imbalances and ensure local knowledge informs decision-making, a new approach to community engagement is essential.
In Resilience for All, Barbara Brown Wilson looks at less conventional, but often more effective methods to make communities more resilient. She takes an in-depth look at what equitable, positive change through community-driven design looks like in four communities—East Biloxi, Mississippi; the Lower East Side of Manhattan; the Denby neighborhood in Detroit, Michigan; and the Cully neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. These vulnerable communities have prevailed in spite of serious urban stressors such as climate change, gentrification, and disinvestment. Wilson looks at how the lessons in the case studies and other examples might more broadly inform future practice. She shows how community-driven design projects in underserved neighborhoods can not only change the built world, but also provide opportunities for residents to build their own capacities.
"Millions of people live in cities but have no say in how they evolve. This results in distortions of the democratic process, which we might call 'planning gerrymandering,' and dysfunctional cities. Resilience for All reports on efforts from around the United States to open up the process, to get the people's voices heard, their power awakened, so that our urbanizing nation can be a healthy one. A great guide for everyone who wants to know the process of better city-making."
Mindy Thompson Fullilove, MD, Honorary AIA, author of "Urban Alchemy: Restoring Joy in America's Sorted-Out Cities"
"This timely book provides the essential documented pathways for dealing with communities of color and distress. In the past, we have spent hours engaging residents at community meetings and invited professional voices to assist us. We assumed we were empowering the community's voice and vision. Resilience for All demonstrates that addressing residents is an initial step, but fully empowering them as the agent of change is the pathway to success."
Ron Sims, Former Deputy Secretary, US Department of Housing and Urban Development
"This book should be required reading for architects, planners, and anyone else working on complex urban challenges. Resilience for All skillfully presents the structural inequities that are the context for public interest design, and offers practical case studies that confront traditional notions of community engagement and the role of the designer. Dr. Wilson connects the dots between systems-level oppression and on-the-ground design interventions that bring new insights and useful methods to today's conversation about equity and ecology in cities. If you read anything about resilience this year, read this book!"
Gia Biagi, Principal of Urbanism and Civic Impact at Studio Gang
Preface: On #Charlottesville
Chapter 1: Introduction: Resilience or Resistance?
Chapter 2: A Short History of Community-Driven Design
Chapter 3: East Biloxi: Bayou Restoration as Environmental Justice
Vignette #1: Fargo: Playing in the Sandbox in The Fargo Project
Chapter 4: Lower East Side, Manhattan: Tactical Urbanism Holding Space for the People's Waterfront
Vignette #2: San Francisco: Reconsidering Parklets in Ciencia Pública: Agua
Chapter 5: Denby, Detroit: Schools, and Their Students, as Anchors
Vignette #3: The Cochella Valley: Reimagining the Banks of the Salton Sea in the North Shore Productive Public Space Project
Chapter 6: Cully, Portland: Green Infrastructure as an Antipoverty Strategy
Vignette #4: Philadelphia: The “Makerspace” Revisited in The Tiny WPA
Chapter 7: Conclusion: Toward Design Justice
In this episode in our series of Urban Resilience Project (URP) podcasts in partnership with Infinite Earth Radio, host Mike Hancox speaks with Barbara Brown Wilson about her new book Resilience for All: Striving for Equity Through Community-Driven Design.
Said Brown Wilson:
"Community driven design is taking design a step further to not only make it accessible to lower income communities that are undeserved because they can't afford or have not been invited to the table, but to create a scenario in which these communities can be designing the table, can be leading the entire process."
Check out our entire series of podcasts on urban resilience topics HERE.
Kyler Geoffroy is the Online Marketing Manager for Island Press