Climate resilient communities – key design features

As part of my job as a social researcher at the Scottish Government, I was asked to give a scene-setting presentation on for Architecture & Design Scotland’s public sector client forum: Designing for a Changing Climate: Climate, Health & Place. This was meant to be an event in the real physical world where I’d present in person to a room of people (feels quite novel now) but now it’s all online.

My presentation is about climate resilient communities, and I created a model of the key design features and discussed some evidence relating to it. I focus particularly on social capital and human health & wellbeing, including in relation to COVID-19 (which is now a bit out of date as the presentation was made in April). The human health & wellbeing part also covers eco-anxiety, connection with nature, and transformational resilience.

Nadine Andrews, Scottish Government April 2020

The key idea in my presentation is that climate resilience in communities is an emergent property – the state of each segment in the model and how the segments interact with each other determines what the resilience of that community will be – it’s a dynamic system. Interactions between segments can happen in ways that enhance each other (so synergies and co-benefits) or they can happen in ways that conflict with each other (trade offs, maladaptation).

The question then is how to design policies and interventions across all of these segments that will support the emergence of climate resilience, at a community level, in a particular place.

There are several other presentations and resources as part of this A&DS forum Designing for a Changing Climate: Climate, Health & Place – so do visit and give your feedback! There is a live discussion event on Tues 9th June 11am-12.30pm which I will participate in – sign up here

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