Can Creative Placemaking Be a Tool for Building Community Resilience?
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AbstractAcross the nation, heat waves, droughts and floods are becoming more frequent and severe, increasing risks to individuals and infrastructure. Simultaneously, amplified and rapid urbanization continue to increase pressure on the environment and local governments managing the confluence of these trends. The threat of these stressors on vulnerable populations, who have consistently experienced trauma, disinvestment, and discrimination, can present significant health implications. Economically constrained, communities of color, immigrant, elderly, and homeless populations are at greater risk and often have limited access to the resources necessary for responding to these conditions. When we think of resilience as a privilege unequally supported across different communities, it changes the responsibility of stakeholders in providing interventions. In the face of “market” and natural forces, it is up to organizational allies to support community residents in advocating for community informed investment. This starts by creating environments for collaboration, lifting resident’s voices, and building social cohesion and capital. Communities most resilient to disaster are not only structurally sound but also socially empowered and connected. The Climate and Cultural Resilience (C&CR) Program funded five community-based organizations across the country to use creative placemaking towards community resilience outcomes, testing the theory that building cultural resilience- the capacity to maintain and develop cultural identity and critical cultural knowledge and practices (107)” advances communities overall resilience. This study develops a qualitative case study to investigate how climate resilience, cultural resilience and creative placemaking are understood among different stakeholders engaged in community development, the role of creative placemaking in advancing climate and cultural resilience, and the role that intermediaries are best suited to influence these strategies. It found that creative placemaking is a tool for building community resilience with limitations, and that communities understand resilience in different ways on the ground that is more expansive than the program parameters. Ultimately, intermediaries hold a powerful role in supporting creative placemaking for community resilience but have to fully incorporate cultural resilience, and be more interdisciplinary, participatory and disruptive in order to be most impactful.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:37945559