Mapping Resilient Communities

for the Global Goals of Sustainable Development

Resilient communities are stories of ambition, courage and stubborn
dedication of women and men who believe in the beauty of a better world.

Mapping Resilient Communities is a global survey aiming at shading light on the industrious and tireless work of public and private institutions, non-profit organisations and informal civic groups that promote ideas, projects and initiatives with a strong connotation of resilience, in its environmental, social and economic terms. The mapping activity is aimed at identifying tangible results based on experiences of knowledge transfer, capacity building and capacity development, intended as building something new from the ground up, through the promotion of a dynamic and flexible process, built on existing skills and knowledge, involving local actors.

According to UN-Habitat, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, resilience refers to the ability of an urban system to retain its structure in response to various environmental shocks and stresses, while adapting and regenerating, and simultaneously promoting a positive and sustainable change. Strengthening resilience means reducing risks, increasing skills and decreasing frailties, improving effective and forward-looking responses, developed according to a process of constructive awareness. Resilience also means dealing with public health, according to an approach that is not detached from urban economy and territorial planning, in relation to unpredictable events that are able to cause distress to our normality, such as the COVID-19 pandemic which found us dangerously unprepared.

Making resilient innovation and thinking outside the predefined schemes and categories encounters many difficulties – since it requires to work often against extremely bureaucratized processes and standardised rules and procedures, sometimes in very unstable political scenarios – and it clashes with backward cultural systems unable to model themselves on ideas that introduce radical changes, not only in terms of results but also in terms of language and methods of expression.

Resilient communities have organisational skills, in the management of people and resources, have invention and entrepreneurship, they experiment, acting beyond what belongs to established practices, often in unfavourable economic conditions. Their work, made up of daily reflections, of continuous opportunities for dialogue and comparison, of intellectual and creative passion, explains the value of human capital that invests in resilience, beyond the logic of profit, pursuing as main goal only and exclusively the common good, since resilience deals with the quality of life of individuals and with the collective well-being.

Mapping Resilient Communities was first presented and exhibited by City Space Architecture at the Italian Pavilion of 17th International Architecture Exhibition, Venice Biennale (2021), with a specific focus on Italy. It is curated by Dr Luisa Bravo, the Founder and President of City Space Architecture.

Cultural and social innovation

Practices of resilience
(bottom-up initiatives)

Projects of resilience
(top-down public initiatives)

Global Call for Good Practices

Nominate a resilient community that you would like to see on the map.

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