Resilience in the news

Biomimicry and Resilience

Posted by on Jan 5, 2013

There was a great online article in the New York Times yesterday (1/4/13), “Will Biomimicry Offer a Way Forward, Post-Sandy?” about the relationship between resilience and biomimicry. This is an issue I’ve thought about quite a bit recently: the idea that nature can provide models of how to incorporate resilience into our buildings and communities. HOK architect Thomas Knittel used the Caribbean kapok tree as a model for the Haiti orphanage being built this year. The trees store water during the rainy season and shed their leaves during the dry season. Coastal mangrove trees...

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Maryland taking sea level rise seriously

Posted by on Jan 3, 2013

On December 28, 2012, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed an executive order that will boost Maryland’s resilience. The executive order, “Climate Change and Coast Smart Construction,” requires sea level rise, flooding, and extreme weather to be taken into account in the construction or reconstruction of all state buildings and facilities. O’Malley is one of the nation’s more responsive governors on the issue of climate change. In 2009 he signed legislation that calls for a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the state by 2020, compared to 2006...

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Good neighbors make resilience

Posted by on Jan 3, 2013

In an NPR interview, sociologist Eric Klinenberg reminds us that resilience involves not only smartly designed systems, buildings and infrastructure (our focus here at RDI). It’s also about the quality of communities and neighborhoods. “Vibrant, tight-knit neighborhoods could fare better in a disaster.” Interview is based on Klinenberg’s article “Adaptation” in the current issue of The New Yorker.

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Kunstler’s calamities

Posted by on Jan 2, 2013

If James Howard Kunstler’s predictions for 2013 (warning: salty-language) turn out to be right, we are going to need lots of resilient design to cope with the impacts. The peak-oil prophet lays out his case for calamities that include a market crash to Dow 4000, massive US gasoline shortages, continued Midwest drought, and for good measure, a major West Coast earthquake. What will bring most of this about, says Kunstler, is a massive debt collapse: “The debt mountains in the USA and elsewhere far overshadow the equity and commodity market molehills, and unpaid debt will...

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