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[原创] The Resilient City(弹性城市研究)

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发表于 2007-10-14 13:28:44 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
The Resilient City
Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Women's Services, Government of British Columbia
This paper explores the resiliency of small Canadian communities dependent upon single resource industries by examining how they have coped with the economic and social pressures arising from the closure of their industries. It summarizes how they have managed their transition from communities existing to serve resource exploitation exclusively to communities based on a different, broader economy and suggests lessons from the Canadian experience that may be transferable to resource-based communities around the world.

Executive Summary
Small rural communities around the world share many challenges when nearby resource industries close down. Universally, industry closures come as a shock to their unprepared host communities. All are confronted by the sudden loss of jobs and the aftershocks of rapid population loss, economic upheaval, declining property values, a lack of capacity to provide services and diversify economically, and a loss of hope in the community's future.

As the host province for the World Urban Forum 2006 and with responsibility for many small resource-dependent communities, British Columbia initiated this report as a first step toward understanding the resiliency of small rural communities dependent upon single resource industries, a topic often overlooked in studies related to sustainable cities. Derived from work undertaken by a group of Canadian provincial and territorial governments beginning in 2003, this paper examines how small, rural, resource-based communities in Canada have coped with the economic and social turbulence arising from the closure of their single, dominant resource industries. The paper summarizes how resource-based Canadian communities have managed their transition from communities existing to serve resource exploitation exclusively to communities based on a broader economy.

This paper is distinct from the other papers submitted to the World Urban Forum 2006 in several important ways. The other papers in the series are concerned with cities in the context of growth and development and, in particular, with making cities more sustainable by developing theme-specific urban planning models that would improve upon characteristics many cities already have, such as security, learning and liveability. Their attention is focussed on large urban centres and on proposing ideal models of sustainable cities by building on what has worked in cities that are doing things right: cities able to go from strength to strength. Similarly, most research on industrialization is dedicated to the study of industrial impacts on larger urban areas.

In contrast, this paper focuses on the impacts of declining industry on rural communities, a topic that receives less attention from urban planners. It concentrates on the lived experiences of small rural communities in decline because of the sudden shock of an industry closure. These towns are struggling to avoid complete collapse and would be more likely than not to define sustainability as mere survival. The paper is also rooted in experience rather than theory, focusing on what community stakeholders actually did to save their towns from dying and suggesting some approaches or strategies that could be replicated by communities facing a similar crisis, whether in Canada or around the world.

The authors recognize that the impact of a resource industry closure on a community exists on a continuum with the closure of manufacturing industries and of natural disasters, like hurricanes or earthquakes, and political calamities, like war. It is also worth noting that rural resource-industry communities share much in common with the less dramatic decline of those rural communities based exclusively in agriculture. For all of these communities, the challenge is similar: building local capacity so that cities and communities can better plan for, respond to and manage the consequences of natural or human-caused events that might otherwise overwhelm them. Some of the understanding reached about the response of resource communities to industry closure may be more broadly applicable to communities facing the closure of other types of industries or to those surprised by sudden, larger-scale crises caused by natural events or human actions. Some countries may choose to replicate strategies used to address Canadian problems insofar as they apply to their unique social, environmental, economic and political context.

Canada's experiences with rural resource-based communities facing industry closure have taught Canadian community stakeholders many valuable lessons about how to manage the transition from industry closure to community recovery. Researchers believe that four lessons form the core of the Canadian experience:

1.       Anticipating and planning for industry closure should be a normal event in the life cycle of a resource industry, instead of waiting until a closure event occurs and acting only in response to it.

2.       Restructuring resource-based communities after an industry closure requires collaborative efforts between all stakeholders.

3.       Recovery is best facilitated by implementing a wide range of actions, including: planning economic diversification strategies; providing industry incentives; maintaining public services during a period of adjustment; stabilizing municipal finances, administration and service delivery; providing worker support; and maintaining community morale.

4.       The potential for community sustainability is maximized by providing an appropriate level of time-limited financial support to resource-based communities in transition and by working together to develop a coordinated strategy for managing local revenues and expenditures while spreading investments over time.

This paper does not presume to apply wholesale a Canadian model of resilient resource-based communities to towns and regions around the globe facing similar challenges. Rather, it attempts to draw more attention to the need to think about declining rural communities in new ways and begin a dialogue in which countries and communities can share their experiences, learn from each other and replicate appropriate strategies. The authors of this paper hope that it will serve as the beginning of a dialogue on rural decline so that rural communities around the world learn from each other about how they can become more resilient and sustainable.

http://www.wd.gc.ca/ced/wuf/resilient/intro3_e.asp




  

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