Over the past decade, the notion of resilience has emerged as a prevailing paradigm for planning that considers how people and places can survive, adapt, and grow in the face of today’s pressures, where globalization, urbanization, and climate change have combined to increase our vulnerability to a range of shocks and stresses.
Given the tremendous interest in and commitment to building resilience, we need tools that help communities illustrate and quantify the link between resilience-inspired investments and improved well-being.
The net benefits from these investments are the resilience dividend.
Building resilience is about people and places being better prepared to withstand catastrophic events—both natural and manmade—and able to recover more quickly and emerge stronger when those events occur. It may also provide additional benefits even in the absence of those events.
The resilience dividend is the sum of benefits, over time, from a project investment based on resilience principles compared to one that is not.
It is the difference in value between a resilience approach and business-as-usual – the “bonus” we receive from investing in a project designed to build resilience.
What do communities gain from adopting resilience approaches?
There are two main benefits from resilience approaches:
- lower future costs from a shock (or set of shocks) or stressors; and
- social, economic and environmental co-benefits even in the absence of a shock or stress. Co-benefits include enhanced social cohesion, better environmental quality and ecosystem services, and additional public goods (for example, space for public use).
Valuing the additional benefits from a resilience project requires that we understand how resilience policy and program interventions change the vital elements of a system over time.