Planning for Coastal Resilience
Best Practices for Calamitous Times
by Timothy Beatley
Pub Date 24 Jul 2009
Resilience, Beatley explains, is a profoundly new way of viewing coastal infrastructure—an approach that values smaller, decentralized kinds of energy, water, and transport more suited to the serious physical conditions coastal communities will likely face. Implicit in the notion is an emphasis on taking steps to build adaptive capacity, to be ready ahead of a crisis or disaster. It is anticipatory, conscious, and intentional in its outlook.
After defining and explaining coastal resilience, Beatley focuses on what it means in practice. Resilience goes beyond reactive steps to prevent or handle a disaster. It takes a holistic approach to what makes a community resilient, including such factors as social capital and sense of place. Beatley provides case studies of five U.S. coastal communities, and “resilience profiles” of six North American communities, to suggest best practices and to propose guidelines for increasing resilience in threatened communities.