Communities that are self-organised in day to day life are inherently better prepared to respond to, and recover from, unexpected events in their neighbourhoods. Community based adaptation (CBA) has been pioneered in developing countries to build capacity in vulnerable and marginalised communities to become more resilient to climate change impacts. An important lesson from CBA practices is that a multi- level, cross-sectoral approach involving a range of different stakeholders - including the residents themselves - is necessary to develop adaptive capacity and build long term resilience. This action builds on the principles of CBA and experience from a number of existing projects and initiatives in Bristol, the south west and other cities around the world. It aims to develop a more integrated and inclusive approach to working with communities to empower them with the knowledge, confidence and resources to take action when affected by local shocks.
Community Education & Training
Improving the knowledge base of a community can make a lasting impact in their participation and engagement. This collection of solutions and blocks provides a quick summary of resources on this topic.
Identify additional targeted air quality improvements through data analysis and community engagement
Since December 2008, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) has monitored criteria for air pollutants at street-level sites around the city through the New York City Community Air Survey. This survey has provided essential data to design sound policy and inform research. Pursuant to available funding, DOHMH will seek to build on this success by developing a community air quality “citizen-science” toolkit that will include how-to guides for accessing available data on emission sources, designing neighborhood air pollution surveys using new, low-cost technologies, and sharing data online. DOHMH also plans to expand its Environment and Health Data Portal to incorporate neighborhood-level sustainability indicators, create a neighborhood- level “Sustainability and Health” report, and develop an educational module on sustainability and health for outreach in public schools and CBOs. These efforts can provide valuable data on air pollution hot-spots and local emissions sources that may be used to inform future control measures beyond those proposed in this plan.
In partnership with BoCo Strong, the collaborative countywide resilience building organization, the City of Boulder will bring resilience and preparedness activities directly into neighborhoods and communities through a “Mobile Resilience Lab.” The lab will be a highly interactive space that accommodates programming as varied as developing your own bee-safe garden to creating personalized blueprints for individual resilience to building disaster “go kits.” Deploying a mobile lab recognizes that true resilience building occurs first and foremost at home and in your own neighborhood, with the people and places you know best. The lab will provide a fun and dynamic platform for building relationships around preparedness and will, literally, be a vehicle for the community to share challenges and solutions. By meeting people where they are, the city will deepen public ownership of resiliency and seek to address community concerns about the responsiveness and transparency of government.
A key to effective and successful disaster response is community and individual preparedness. Boulder’s formal emergency response capabilities are well-resourced and effective; however, local neighborhoods and communities need to be better prepared and possess a deeper capacity to be first responders while formal systems gear up for relief operations. The city will develop a community-centered course to enhance emergency preparedness, emphasizing social connections and risk awareness as core personal resilience attributes. Developing a more robust and flexible capacity to respond to crisis when it occurs is a direct outcome of lessons learned from recent disasters.
Citizen science can take many forms, but as technologies have advanced over the last decade, each member of the community can now serve as independent, mobile data-collecting participants. To harness this potential, the city will develop the information architecture necessary to support community-driven mobile science applications and translate that data into information and metrics to inform city decision-making. The aggregation of information from so many data points can create new insights into changes in the community, collective behavior or climate, as examples. By relying on community members to play a role in the creation of data and shared knowledge, Boulder will foster co-ownership in understanding the factors of change affecting us all. The underlying architecture will be openly available to the public to creatively develop applications to support data collection from sources as diverse as the Boulder Valley School District to Boulder’s active and enthusiastic outdoor community.