Building Resilient Neighbourhoods team members Michelle Colussi and Stacy Barter have been on the road this October and November delivering Resilient Streets workshops for new collaboratives that will be implementing the Resilient Streets program in their respective communities of Whistler, Powell River, Sunshine Coast Regional District and Richmond.
With support from PlanH Social Connectedness grants, the fall workshops brought together a cross –section of organizations and sectors in each community to explore the unique challenges and opportunities for building greater social connections between neighbours. Together, the groups in each community will form a Community Partners Table through which they will work collaboratively to implement Resilient Streets over the coming year. “We have found that in any given community, there is usually a diverse array of organizations who care about increasing social connectedness, though often through different lenses such as community safety, emergency preparedness or community inclusion, to name a few,” says Barter. “We want the Resilient Streets program to provide a platform for all of these organizations to take a joined-up approach and have greater impact by working together.”
As part of this “action learning” initiative, these four demonstration communities will form a provincial Community of Practice to harvest and share lessons about strengthening neighbour-to-neighbour connections in diverse community contexts. “We are already seeing the richness of adapting Resilient Streets to very different types of communities, from small rural regions and resort municipalities to highly urbanized, multi-cultural communities,” says Colussi. “We’re hoping to learn about approaches to building social connections and resilience that may be uniquely effective in particular settings or effective across these different settings.”