Valuing the Resilience Dividend

| December 3, 2018 | Leave a Comment

Item Link: Access the Resource

Media Type: Book - Recent

Year of Publication: 2017

Author(s): Judith Rodin

Categories: , ,

Just months after I became president of The Rockefeller Foundation, New Orleans experienced one of the worst disasters in American history: Hurricane Katrina.

While we did what we could to help address the human suffering in the immediate aftermath of the storm, The Rockefeller Foundation understood that the scale of this disaster was long in the making, due to a compendium of social, economic, and environmental challenges that had been simmering for decades, and because strategies that were designed to address crisis and natural shocks were narrow. In the rebuilding and recovery we saw an opportunity for the city to take a longer, more holistic view of the capacity of individuals, communities and systems to survive, adapt, and transform in the face of shocks and stresses. We wanted the city—and thousands of other communities—to develop that capacity to recover quickly and effectively when crises arise.

At the time, we didn’t call it resilience, but that’s what it was.

As the field of resilience has advanced during my tenure as the president of the University of Pennsylvania and in the twelve years I’ve led The Rockefeller Foundation, I’ve often spoken of the co-benefits that resilience planning and projects provide communities above and beyond the immediate mitigating solution—unrecognized benefits like social cohesion, job opportunities, environmental protections, and space for public use. My colleagues and I have shared that collaborative planning processes help unify communities by engaging diverse and widespread input, which builds social capital and supports cohesion. How smart urban planning can not only connect a fractured community, but also provide open space, protection against natural disasters and at the same time provide job opportunities for local residents. We looked at how an investment could be deployed to deliver multiple positive returns and serve communities in both the good times and the bad times. In fact, in 2014, I wrote a book that sought to better explain the added returns that resilience planning, projects, and practices offered, entitled: The Resilience Dividend.

You may read more about Resilience Dividend here.

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