Resilience is the capacity of individuals, communities, and systems to survive, adapt, and grow in the face of stress and shocks, and even transform when conditions require it. Building resilience is about making people, communities and systems better prepared to withstand catastrophic events—both natural and manmade—and able to bounce back more quickly and emerge stronger from these shocks and stresses.
Improving our regional and urban systems will increase the resilience of the Bay Area overall. The area’s infrastructural systems need to improve the ability to withstand, respond to, and adapt to the effects of severe events such as flooding and earthquakes as well as everyday stresses like long commutes and food insecurity in order to emerge stronger after tough times, and live better in good times.
Climate Justice and Resilience
While everyone is impacted, climate change affects vulnerable communities worse than others, especially low-income communities. These low-income communities already suffer from existing inequities which include: a lack of economic investments, disproportionately high levels of industrial pollution, greater public health risks, high poverty, inadequate social services, a lack of affordable housing and access to education, among other disparities. Adding the impacts of climate change, such as extreme flooding, extreme urban heat effects, drought, and poor air quality, further exacerbates these inequities.
Climate justice responds to the disproportionate impacts of climate change on low-income and communities of color. Climate justice asserts:
Acknowledgment of the social, economic and health inequities that low income communities of color have historically faced and that are exacerbated by climate change.
Action that prioritizes and targets economic resources, clean energy policies, and health protection initiatives in low-income communities of color to ensure that the transition to a clean energy economy occurs on the same timescale for all communities.
Fair and just allocation of the benefits and burdens associated with climate change, which includes equitable access to climate change solutions.
Focus on local air pollutants as well as global climate pollutants.
Increasing access to clean and sustainable technologies, resilient infrastructure and clean energy workforce opportunities within low income communities of color, first and most.
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