In my quest to define resilience, I could find no better explanation than the one given in the Transition Handbook;
Walker et al. define it thus:“Resilience is the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and reorganise while undergoing change, so as to still retain essentially the same function, structure, identity and feedbacks.”In the context of communities and settlements, it refers to their ability to not collapse at first sight of oil or food shortages, and to their ability to respond with adaptability to disturbance.I have written before about the consequences of not being resilient in my post, "Nine meals from Anarchy". It is worth a read before proceeding any further, but it doesn't give you the whole picture.
Economist David Fleming argues that the benefits for a community with enhanced resilience will be that:
• If one part is destroyed, the shock will not ripple through the whole system
• There is wide diversity of character and solutions developed creatively in response to local circumstances
• It can meet its needs despite the substantial absence of travel and transport
• The other big infrastructures and bureaucracies of the intermediate economy are replaced by fit-for-purpose local alternatives at drastically reduced cost
So what can we do to our communities to make them shock proof? Well not wanting to get too far ahead, that will be the subject of the next post!
Can you think of another definition?