Resilience is the capability to anticipate risk, limit impact, and bounce forward rapidly by adapting and learning in the face of disruptive shocks and stresses.
BoCo Strong was created with the purpose of building a culture of resilience throughout Boulder County. It formed in the wake of the 2013 flood and began as a sub-committee of the long-term flood recovery group (LTFRG). After a natural disaster the main focus is typically on restoring physical infrastructure and making it more resilient, while social infrastructure is frequently ignored or forgotten. BoCo Strong focuses on building social capital, increasing connections and fostering cooperation around already existing social networks. BoCo Strong is comprised of representatives from Lyons, Jamestown, Boulder, Longmont and Boulder County as well as the Red Cross, Boulder Flood Relief, Foothills United Way, Intermountain Alliance, and the Office of Emergency Management.
NEWS AND EVENTS
WHY IT MATTERS
In 2014 BoCo Strong convened two county-wide resilience meetings, a flood anniversary commemorative event, and conducted more than 22 resilience conversations in flood impacted neighborhoods throughout the county. A major finding from these activities was that neighborhoods, businesses, and communities with connected people and connections to nonprofits and local government responded more effectively and recovered faster.
In January of 2015, BoCo Strong successfully obtained a Community Development Block Grant for Resilience Planning through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The timeframe for this effort, the Community Resilience Building Initiative, is August 2015 to December 2016. The initiative includes a set of four interlinked goals to increase resilience at the household, neighborhood, community and county level. We see the accomplishment of these goals as the first phase in increasing resilience to community stressors at all levels and sectors in Boulder County.
The Resilience Network holds quarterly meetups, bridges resources together across sectors, and provides a list of members and activities to promote collaboration and engage diverse partners.
Working with Community Leaders and local governmental support, BoCo Strong is helping to identify community projects and build resilience skills for community leaders.
Expanding the 100 Resilient Cities framework and comparing it with local community assessments, BoCo Strong is evaluating strengths and gaps to lay a foundation for future projects.