A Strategic Approach for Sustainability and Resilience Planning within Municipalities

This research started by recognizing the role that local, municipal governments can play to reach the global goal of sustainability. In addition,a municipal community must be able to cope with change and disturbance in order to successfully achieve a sustainable future. This research investigates how improving municipal resilience can be a strategy to reach sustainability, and answers the primary research question “How can planning resilience help a municipal government lead a community towards sustainability?” Research was conducted through an inter-disciplinary literature review focusing on identifying key characteristics of resilience.Other methods included diagramming exercises to identify factors which foster or undermine resilience characteristics. Finally, implementable measures where identified which municipalities can implement to improve resilience and sustainability. These measures were selected using a synergy matrix, which helps select measures which most support principles for sustainability and resilience characteristics. The feasibility and current adoption of such measures was checked through interviews with municipal experts of Swedish, Canadian and Finnish municipalities.


1. Introduction
1.1 Five-Level Framework for Strategic Planning or TNS Framework
Level 1: System
Level 2: Success
Level 3: Strategy
Level 4: Actions
Level 5: Tools 6
1.2 Thesis questions
2. Methods
2.1 Question 1: Planning for Resilience and sustainability in Municipalities
2.2 Question 2: Some Characteristics of Resilience
2.3 Question 3: Identification of Some Common Factors Affecting
Community Resilience and Sustainability
2.4 Question 4: Selection of Measures and the Synergy Matrix
2.5 Question 5: Implementation of Measures
2.6 Synthesis
3. Results
3.1 Resilience Characteristics
Individual Capacity
Spatial scale interactions
Temporal scale Interactions
3.2 Factors that influence resilience
3.3 Measures that support Resilience and Sustainability in Municipalities
Sustainability Education
Create a “Space for engagement”
Co-create a shared vision based on a sustainable future
Sustainability Steering Committee
Community supported local energy production, businesses and
Participatory governance
Early Warning Systems w/ Yearly Benchmark Summits
Multi-use zoning and urban infill
Small loan programs for local, sustainable business
Support for local, organic food producers
3.4 Interviews
Municipality # 1
Municipality # 2
Municipality # 3
Municipality # 4
3.5 How our suggested measures have been implemented in
4. Discussion
5. Conclusion
6. Bibliography
7. Appendices

Author: Alexandra Chuvarayan, Celia Peterson, Isabelle Martel

Source: Blekinge Institute of Technology

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