Resiliency - the word has such visceral relevance now - is one aspect of community sustainability. In this dire time of the pandemic, we see in MN cities the results of positive community preparation that GreenStep has promoted for ten years:
- Telework and telemedicine
- Generous spaces for all residents to walk and bike
- Food stores and businesses with durable, local supply lines
- A variety of businesses and housing to accommodate those losing their jobs
- Low-cost city government due to energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Looking back 50 years, to the first Earth Day, we remember deep roots and experiments that we can again build on in our recovery from this pandemic:
- Appropriate technology
- Ecology - think more benign (viral) relationships between the natural and the human worlds
- Food co-operatives
- Backyard gardening (going back another 50 years to that other pandemic of 1918-1920)
- Home cooking!
As we struggle to understand and work through this painful time, and to prepare for the recovery, several on-line resources stand out as worthy companions on our journey:
- League of MN Cities: for guidance on city COVID-19 legal, health and governance issues
- Strong Towns: for guidance from a MN-based non-profit on financially resilient cities and incremental actions
- Institute for Local Self-Reliance: for guidance from a MN-based non-profit on small business resiliency and sustainable local economics
- Transition Twin Cities: for guidance on more sustainable ways of living
- Planetizen Newswire: sign-up for several short emails/week with 1-2-sentence summaries of urban design articles from across the country
- GreenStep best practice actions: while taking actions now is difficult due to social distancing, the GreenStep web site resources continue to be updated and Kristin Mroz, GreenStep staffer, is available as a first point of contact to assist your city in preparing to take action to make your city more resilient and sustainable
Stay safe, plan boldly, and keep in touch!
-- The GreenStep staff and steering committee