Many of us watched in horror as police turned water cannons on peaceful protesters at Standing Rock, and as neo-Nazis marched in Charlottesville. We mourned the rollback of Obama-era environmental protections, carried out by fox-guarding-the-henhouse cabinet appointees. And we lamented the US withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, against the backdrop of accelerating climate crisis. Indeed, from deadly wildfires to devastating hurricanes, 2017 was the most expensive year on record for weather disasters in the United States.
And yet, even in these times, there are extraordinary people working to create a fairer, greener world. Over the past year, the Island Press Urban Resilience Project, has collaborated with a diverse group of activists, academics and practitioners to sound the alarm about threats and—importantly—to lift up stories of sustainable, equitable solutions.
Those stories, originally published in a wide variety of news outlets, are collected in a new e-book Resilience Matters: Transformative Thinking in a Year of Crisis, freely available online. Here, you can read about community groups that are growing local economies while reducing carbon emissions and building climate resilience. That includes California’s Cooperation Richmond, which builds local wealth by incubating worker- and community-owned co-ops. It includes UPROSE, in Brooklyn, New York, which is reimagining its industrial waterfront as a hub for green industries that create good-paying jobs. And it includes PUSH Buffalo, in New York State, which organized residents to create a 25-square-block Green Development Zone, a model of energy-efficient, affordable housing. There’s more—from activists fighting against water shutoffs in Detroit, to the burgeoning local food movement in Milwaukee.
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