The Practice

New Playbook Details Minutiae of Resilience

by | Dec 20, 2021

Watercolor-style illustration of a farmland community and river with people beneath a tree and on a hillside.

A resilient and thriving community. Art by Alfred Twu.

In the midst of a climate emergency already thrusting wildfires, drought, and flooding upon us it is easy to feel helpless and lost. The Greenbelt Alliance’s newly released “Resilience Playbook” seeks to combat that resignation by offering a motivating vision and practical steps for building local climate adaptation and resilience. Worried about heat and how it disproportionately affects certain neighborhoods where you live? This resource gives a step-by-step guidance on how to integrate urban greening into general plans, along with a menu of policy examples, budget priorities, and model climate action plans to catalyze resilience action for citizens, municipalities, and community organizations. Critically, the playbook offers advice on effectively partnering with underserved populations and communities who are often left out of the budget and infrastructure conversations where priorities are decided.

Recommendations and “critical actions to take now” come from the Greenbelt Alliance’s six plus decades of land-use policy advocacy and regional collaboration. Executive Director Amanda Brown-Stevens and Director of Climate Resilience Zoe Siegel also bring experience from shepherding the implementation of the 2018 Resilient by Design competition that spurred fantastic visions of South Bay Sponges, Grand Bayways, and Estuary Commons. This playbook focuses on the more mundane minutiae of resilience: city budgets, general plans, and regulations. A decidedly less sexy, and more Sisyphean task — yet also one that is more achievable, and no less important. Whether the intended audience, ranging from local citizens to government planners to political leaders, uses the plays from this book will be up to all of us.

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About The Author

Isaac Pearlman

covers sea level rise, flooding, and other topics around the San Francisco Bay Area. His stories and essays have been featured in Sierra Magazine, Earth Island Journal, Estuary News, and the Progressive Populist, among other outlets.