Introducing Smart Growth America's State Resilience Program

Resilience-based land use planning can help communities weather hazards like the wildfires that struck Bastrop, TX in 2011. Photo by Joe Wolf, via Flickr.

State governments play a key role in addressing the immediate aftermath of disasters. But what can they do to reduce risks before disasters happen—and how can they guide rebuilding to reduce future risks? State leaders sit at the intersection of policy and investment decisions that can ensure long-term state resilience and economic growth.

Smart Growth America’s new State Resilience Program, launching today, is a first-of-its-kind initiative offering resources, tools, and guidance for state leaders working to build more resilient places and reduce the risk that natural hazards pose to vulnerable populations and local economies. Drawing on the innovative work of state leaders, federal agencies, and national experts, the State Resilience Program offers resources and guidance representing the cutting edge of land use and engagement strategies for hazard resilience.

Implementing resilience strategies before disasters strike can prevent effects from escalating, protect vulnerable populations, and help local communities and economies rebuild stronger. Resilience planning can also align with existing development goals to help states achieve greater return on investments of taxpayer money and strengthen partnerships between state agencies and communities.

Visit our State Resilience section of our website to find resources, presentations, and recent news on state resilience strategies. To stay updated on new resources and opportunities about this issue, subscribe to our new resilience mailing list.

States that build in resilient ways will be better prepared to protect communities when disasters occur—and are likely to reap economic, environmental, and equity benefits even before they do. That’s a key part of smart growth development.

Smart Growth America’s State Resilience Program was developed at the 2014 State Resilience and Economic Growth Summit, hosted by the Governors’ Institute on Community Design, a Smart Growth America program funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation.