During a power failure, it is imperative to have a back up power supply that is not dependent on the grid. Food, health, communications, automatic teller machines (ATMs) and many other systems are dependent on a constant supply of power. Traditionally, petrol or diesel generators are used as backup devices. Here we show a much more sustainable option—solar panels and batteries on top of a roof. The point of view comes from a dimly lit home that is without power, and we see that an electric pole has fallen. The family with the solar panel below is able to stay cool in the summer’s heat, and maintain their usual set of daily activities in the household.
When designing a resilient community, it’s important to build systems that are flexible and diverse. For example, the cyclist on the left is unable to pass because the one road is blocked. The rider on the left, however, is able to take alternate routes.
The concept of safe failure recognizes that no system is ever perfect or “fail safe”. It also recognizes that climate change is very hard to predict, and the severity of weather can quickly increase and overwhelm systems. We show a waterway here overwhelmed by water pressure. The waterway has been designed to break on the side that is facing agriculture—away from residences and industry where the loss of assets can be devastating, and where flash flooding can be devastating to the population. In this illustration, the waterway has been designed to fail safely.
The ability to access accurate, accessible, and relevant information is one of the barriers for many communities regarding adaptation and becoming resilient. On the left we show a group of individuals who are able to enter a public library, access information, and share it with their community members. On the right we show stacks of books that are inaccessible to the public—with no one inside accessing information. On the right, valuable knowledge is locked and accessible only to a small population.
There are many instances where populations are given the opportunity to learn from past experiences. After a flood, the man on the right has decided to rebuild his home on stilts, where the man on the left has failed to recognize that by rebuilding in the same location with the same construction plan as before he is, thus, putting his assets, again, in harm’s way.
by Michelle Fox, Director of Art and Communications; and Kenneth MacClune, Senior Staff Scientist
Have you ever read the fine print on our Climate Resilience Framework and left wondering what exactly “Redundancy & Modularity”, “Safe Failure”, “Capacity to Learn” really mean—in practice?
We’ve had the pleasure of working with Jamie Stroud—a talented illustrator based out of Boulder, Colorado—to help us visualize some of ISET’s Characteristics of Resilience.
In the comments field below, can you tell us how your community exhibits characteristics of resilience?
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