Practical Action to Build Community Resilience

Date of the report

March 2014

Author of the report

Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Purpose of the report

What is the best way to make a community more resilient in the face of climate change?

This study looks at lessons from a scheme that helped residents of a UK neighbourhood to make their community more environmentally sustainable and adaptable to change. The Good Life Initiative in New Earswick tried different ways of engaging residents and this research considers which were the most effective.

  • Tapping into the existing interests of community groups and making use of their social networks was one of the most valuable ways to engage and reach out to people.
  • The greatest successes involved linking to people’s interests in nature and the local natural environment and working with the local school. By engaging pupils messages could reach the wider community.
  • It was vital to build trust among residents so that outside help could be reduced and responsibilities could become embedded in the community.
  • The initiative helped people to forge new social links as well as reinforcing existing connections, which made the community stronger and better placed to affect change and become more resilient.

The research is part of the JRF’s programme of work on climate change and communities.

What SWM liked

This report gives useful and practical ideas to those responsible for developing community resilience schemes in terms of how to engage and implement appropriate responses. The main element of the research that we like is the honest appraisal that it gives in terms of the challenges that need to be worked through to implement a successful scheme.  As with all of the JRF’s work, it also focuses on demography and social justice.

Links and contact information

A  summary report is available to download (contact us for the full report).  Click here to visit the JRF website and for further information. For more information, contact katharine.knox@jrf.org.uk.