Building Resilient Communities in the Face of Climate Change

Mitchell Center Senior Fellow Linda Silka, a social and community psychologist by training, is part of the group Infrastructure and Climate Network (ICNet) comprised of over 60 academics, students, and practitioners dedicated to accelerating climate science and engineering research in the Northeastern United States. Established in October 2012 with support from the National Science Foundation, ICNet focuses on climate change and sea level rise impacts and adaptation for sustainable bridges, roads, and transportation networks.

Recently, Silka and ICNet colleagues published the report “Building Resilient Communities in the Face of Climate Change: A Resource for Local Communities.”

Linda Silka
Linda Silka

The report, published by the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, is characterized by Silka as providing information to assist in the “communication around difficult issues such as climate change.” States the report, “The National Health Security Strategy of the United States calls on people and their communities to prepare for the threats to health that come with disasters and emergencies, to be ready to protect themselves, and to remain resilient in the face of such threats.

This strategy defines resilience as “the sustained ability of communities to withstand, adapt to, and recover from adversity.” How can communities best incorporate resilience into their approaches and practices, especially in light of the potential consequences of climate change? This resource—prepared especially for community-based groups—provides information from the fields of psychology and other social sciences to help communities better understand and prepare for the adverse effects of climate change.

Read the full report here.