What exactly is neighbourhood resilience?

Resilience is about strengthening our community’s response and adaptation to big changes and deep challenges. We create a stronger, more connected community where everyone’s basic needs are met, balanced with the planet’s needs. Building a greater sense of connection to the people and places where we live is important as we recognize and celebrate our interdependence and grow “local self-reliance”.

Why is resilience important for neighbourhoods?

Individuals and communities today face a range of social, environmental and economic challenges. Amidst this, though, many people recognize that we need new ways of addressing our shared challenges. We have the methods and the means locally at hand to transform our lifestyles, social connections, shared spaces and places, and local economies. Through this work, we improve resiliency.

What do resilient neighbourhoods look like?

Building resilience looks different in each neighbourhood. It might involve citizens getting to know each other, sharing tools and skills, and supporting locally-owned businesses. Schools providing “town hall” settings for re-vitalized public engagement. Local governments, organizations and social entrepreneurs collaborating to increase access to green spaces and locally grown food.

How we’re building resilient neighbourhoods

resilient neighbourhoods resources illustration of hand holiding smartphone

BRN Resources

Browse our publications, webinars, toolkits, and guides. Explore our curated catalogue of links to free resources from other groups and organizations doing important work in helping build resilience in North America and around the world.

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Resilient Streets

Starting street celebrations, mini-libraries, skills exchanges and apartment rooftop gardens – our workshops, toolkits and micro-grants inspire and support neighbours in connecting and taking collaborative action.

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Resilient Communities
& Neighbourhoods

We host meetings of neighbour champions; develop neighbourhood resource tables with diverse representation; and gather organizations, businesses, local governments and others to build community resilience.

News &

Keep up to date on our latest initiatives, hear about outcomes of projects, stay apprised of new resilience resources, and subscribe to our mailing list. We promise not to spam you with frequent mail-outs.

Featured Announcements

Resilient streets and communities change lives

Connect and prepare, neighbours helping neighbours.

“Before the program, neighbours … seldom reached out to talk. Now … we often get together for parties and help one another with projects and events. We support each other with house/pet sitting, sharing gardens/harvests, sharing tools, repairing equipment, figuring out how to vote and Transition Streets has transformed my street into the type of community that can deal with anything, good or bad.” — Vic West Resilient Streets Champion (Transition Streets)

Connect and prepare, neighbours helping neighbours.

“We had our first Food Buyers meeting today thanks to the $40 Resilient Streets grant. WOW, what started as ‘let’s buy organic food together to share costs’ exploded into a chicken coop, carpooling to support local farmers, pet sitting, seed and yard sharing, home-grown food swapping, street canning parties…. and the food buying group of course!” — Vic West Resilient Streets Champion (Food Buying)

Connect and prepare, neighbours helping neighbours.

“I appreciated the fact that you guys know all the things that we worry about and all the things that community engagement is concerned about: People are not showing up, or no volunteers, and so on and so forth. You actually put a little humour into it. You made me feel better about the parts that suck!” — Audience member of Laughing Allowed!

Connect and prepare, neighbours helping neighbours.

“Even people who did not attend have been friendlier, as they now know our names and where we live. There are now more conversations on the street and less {invasive} ivy in the park. Garden produce is being shared and more greetings being called out as people drive or ride by. We’re planning a bee-friendly garden to occupy an empty lot.” — Vic West Resilient Streets Champion (Block Party)

Connect and prepare, neighbours helping neighbours.

“I struggle with health challenges to do my own gardening, so it was just really heartening for me to see the offers of support, and assistance should I ever need it. It just has me feeling much more connected with my fellow Vic Westians.” — Vic West Resilient Streets Champion (Shared Garden Project)

Connect and prepare, neighbours helping neighbours.

“I think the experience of diverse groups working together to create a neighbourhood event creates bonds that will likely last. Hopefully those bonds can be reactivated to address the community vulnerabilities.” — Vic West Resilient Neighbourhood Resource Table members

Connect and prepare, neighbours helping neighbours.

“Our planning picnic last Sunday was a great success. We ended up painting all the poles on our street that same day… One neighbour in her 70s showed up! So we brought out whatever paints we had from past household projects and a friend ran down to a hardware store for a couple primary colours and an off-tint – and voila!” — Vic West Resilient Streets Champion (pole painting)

Connect and prepare, neighbours helping neighbours.

“It confirmed what I’ve believed already: It is cooperation and collaboration that will help us all to get where we want to be, and not competition. And it is possible. There are so many good people in Vic West willing to help out and be part of the moving forward process.” — Vic West Resilient Neighbourhood Resource Table member

A few of our key resources