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Community Planning for Resilience & Sustainability

Communities need to plan for resilience both to short-term disruption resulting from storms and other major events, as well as  to long-term sustainability concerns, including the effects of global warming and climate change. (Resilience is often thought of as the ability to spring back from an emergency, but it also applies to  slower long-term concerns.) In many cases long- and short-term plans are developed separately, without real community engagement, and without facing the difficult choices that are needed. In addition, many do not include effective communication, either about the planning process or when plans need to be put into action.

Rethink the System, Work for Change

Interns will explore community planning needs, processes for engaging the community, and the need for more effective communications.  Individual interns will, in most cases, focus on a specific planning need for a specific location or type of location, but will look at both short-and long-term contexts.

Depending on the focus, this will involve some or all of the following activities:

  • Research approaches for community resilience & planning, including what other communities have done, to create plans that:
    • engage a wide spectrum of people in planning processes
    • benefit all, including those who are vulnerable
    • communicate effectively about threats to health & safety (both short- and so long-term)
    • consider intersections among the responsibilities of individuals, institutions, communities, and larger regions
  • Work with community members, educators, & local organizations to explore possibilities.
  • Take action to raise awareness and understanding of the need for communities to plan for resilience and sustainability, by creating presentations, fact sheets, reports, and/or posters.

This internship is still in development so the final description may incorporate changes from the above.


Updated November 2017