Authors: Geoffrey Habron*, Furman University
Topics: Hazards, Risks, and Disasters, Climatology and Meteorology, Urban and Regional Planning
Keywords: risk, resilience, climate, urban, adaptive capacity
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded
Asheville, North Carolina launched a Climate Resilience Assessment in conjunction with a new Comprehensive Plan in 2017. While initiated separately, the efforts eventually melded together as the Climate Resilience Assessment folded into the Comprehensive Plan as an appendix. In 2019, Asheville developed the first action step in terms of an outreach plan targeted at individual homeowners and neighborhoods. The approach began in a way that places the burden of the risk response on individuals instead of society. The response neglects the causal mechanisms in terms of structural and cultural that have led to risks and led to certain groups and locations becoming more vulnerable than others. Without addressing those causal and structural factors (why is it that some houses are dilapidated and more vulnerable to flooding or that some people rely on public transportation or food assistance?), the efforts fail to address resilience and is simply an approach to adaptation. True resilience would address causes and build adaptive capacity. Adaptive capacity has individual and societal/community dimensions. True adaptive capacity would focus on building financial, knowledge and most importantly social capital. Building and summing individual capital does not equate to building community social capital or community adaptive capacity, especially when those threats are not driven by or caused by individuals. This illustrates a scale mismatch problem. As such there is a need to incorporate best practices in risk and resilience theory and practice.