What constitutes a flourishing resilient community? How can it be measured? What are the individual, social, environmental and structural attributes that constitute community resilience?

An individual’s health resilience has historically been conceptualized using constructs such as fortitude/strength, hardiness, post-traumatic growth and recovery, self-efficacy. These metrics have been applied to explore individual adaptation to trauma and natural and/or man-made disasters within the context of chronic problems as opposed to flourishing contexts. But there is notable lack of synthesis in theory on individual and community resilience across different discipline perspectives; and a notable omission in resilience models of the structural (e.g. governance frameworks, resources, health and education policy), and contextual opportunities (e.g. values, history, gender, race, social issues and systems) relating to resilience combined with poor application to the context of thriving cities.

The project created a model, intended to change how community health is conceptualized, operationalized and measured within the context of healthy, sustainable urban development. To create the model, the team engaged in proactive and sustained inter-disciplinary dialogue amongst a variety of fields, including: social psychology, sociology, nursing and public health, medicine, environmental sciences, and urban planning and design. The modeling experience provided insights for further testing, and helped apply resilient thinking to further initiatives across Grounds. The seed award successfully nurtured research ideas that subsequently developed into larger, extramurally funded projects by project partners.

Lack of synthesis in theory on individual and community resilience