Identifying Valued Community Resilience Indicators and Dimensions for King County
Argiroff, Emma Leah
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King County, Washington is challenged by a variety of potential shocks, such as earthquakes, and stresses, such as rising income inequality and climate change. It is therefore essential to strengthen community resilience. Community resilience refers to the ability of communities to work together to proactively limit risk and stress, and adapt to changing circumstances. In order to develop and implement effective resilience programs, there should be agreement on how to simplify this concept into components, or dimensions, and measure these dimensions with indicators. However, there is no strict consensus in the literature about which dimensions are most important and which indicators are most effective at measuring resilience. Through this research, I aim to identify the most valued community resilience dimensions and indicators for King County, and understand how resilience perceptions change based on race, gender, and professional sector. I collected data with a survey that asks respondents who live and/or work in King County to rank resilience dimensions on a Likert scale of importance, select important indicators for measuring resilience, and provide demographic information. I found that all community resilience dimensions were either highly or most valued. This supports that a multi-pronged approach to building resilience is most effective, rather than one that focuses on a single dimension. I found that the most valued indicators were those that are fundamentally important, such as drinking water reliability. The majority of indicators derived from the Seattle Resilience Strategy were highly valued instead of most valued. The least valued indicators concerned demographics, such as high English-language competency. Although resilience literature generally argues that demographic indicators are important for assessing resilience, there is no ethical or practical program that would seek to limit diversity. My findings support that perceptions change depending on professional sector, race, and gender, but further research is needed to assess perceptions, as my response was not diverse or controlled for each demographic. This knowledge is important for implementing equity-based resilience strategies that seek to strengthen resilience for underserved populations.
- Built environment