The Rush to Resilience

“We don’t have decades before the next Sandy.”


In an era of disruptions so significant that we refer to them in a single-name shorthand (think: 9/11, Katrina, Fukushima, Haiti, Sandy) what gives communities their ability to bounce back? And what does it mean for the way we build (and rebuild) cities? To explore these topics, we invited two leading thinkers who are working at the forefront of resilience — Andrew Zolli and Jonathan Rose — into a dialogue.

Zolli’s new book, Resilience: Why Things Bounce Back, written with Ann Marie Healy, is a must-read primer on the field of resilience research, examining the capacity of everything from people, organizations, communities, and societies to adapt to volatile and dramatically changing circumstance. Zolli’s day job is running PopTech, a network of cutting-edge scientists, technologists, and social innovators who come together to work on new approaches to some of the world’s toughest challenges.

Jonathan Rose is an urban planner, developer of green affordable housing, and the founder of the Jonathan Rose Companies. His work is focused on the intersection of climate, cognition and behavior, having incubated a pioneering network that explores these topics at the Garrison Institute.

Here’s part of our wide-ranging conversation about how to make our cities more resilient.

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About Climate Desk

The Climate Desk is a journalistic collaboration dedicated to exploring the impact—human, environmental, economic, political—of a changing climate. The partners are The Atlantic, Center for Investigative Reporting, Grist, The Guardian, Huffington Post, Mother Jones, Slate, and Wired.