“Resiliency in community building.”

By: Carol Mullins, Executive Director, Crooked Creek Indy

Do you bounce back easily when faced with challenges? At the People’s Planning Academy, hosted by the Department of Metropolitan Development last week we were challenged to document ways the community was resilient. Community resilience is the ability to prepare for anticipated hazards, adapt to changing conditions, and withstand and recover rapidly from disruptions. So is the Crooked Creek Community  #resilient or #notresilient.  This could translate to how people, build relationships, participate in open dialogue and work together toward a common cause.  IDD_Max_5600_2017

The definition of resiliency was contrasted with sustainability but held the same three attributes: Social/Economic/Environment.  Sustainability looks to the future to ensure our actions today protect these resources for generations to come. Resiliency is a little more fluid and allows for us to take action today based on immediate impact and diversification. Bouncing back from decisions and bouncing forward.

Following a day of service, that brought hundreds out to work for a common cause was just the beginning. Let’s build resilience into all that we do. the new word for sustainable, being able to go the long haul, understanding the SWAT system of managing. Like a rubber band, if you leave it in a drawer for too long it becomes brittle and snaps when you need it. Keeping the stock fresh allows for greater elasticity. don’t wait until a crisis to flex the connector, use it often.

I’ve just come back from SanFrancisco/Berkley, California and began comparisons to  Indiana. You may think this is a stretch, I agree, the political landscape is different, it’s about people and place. So how can we change the people? A beautiful thing about the Bay Area is the number of people living in close proximity, the varied landscapes, ocean beauty, mountains, the availability of walking and biking,  and pretty good public transportation. The area seems very resilient and could help us think about promoting local business, walkability, increasing services, bringing a community together at these junctures, building resources to engage with each other outside.

So let’s think about our green space and natural resources in our community, how we interact with others in these spaces, along with the banks of Crooked Creek, under trees, open areas for action that are currently underutilized. How can we embrace these areas and utilize them as a catalyst for resilient development, socially, economically and environmentally toward a more resilient community?  I think we’re growing and because of our diverse and eclectic mix of neighborhoods and businesses we can connect and become even more so.

I look forward to your comments.