Resilience Is About Relationships, Not Just Infrastructure

January 03, 2013
Sarah Goodyear
The Atlantic

When dealing with severe weather events, the type that climate change is making more common, improved infrastructure is important. But the social ties of a neighborhood – the kind of relationships that are nurtured by trips to the corner coffee shop and chats on the sidewalk – might prove equally important when it comes to saving lives.

In a New Yorker article this week (behind a paywall), sociologist Eric Klinenberg looks at the impact that solid, place-based social networks can have on protecting lives in a natural disaster. He takes as his example the Chicago heat wave of July 1995, which killed 739 people. As you might expect, the mortality rates were highest in poor neighborhoods. African-American communities were particularly badly affected.

Read full article



Sustainable NE Seattle's Planet Home!! festival is an example of neighbours building shared infrastructure and services!

Planet:Home solar cookers

Planet:Home kitchen schedule

Newsletter Signup