How Local Resilience Creates Sustainable Societies: Hard to Make, Hard to Break, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

How Local Resilience Creates Sustainable Societies

Hard to Make, Hard to Break, 1st Edition

By Philip Monaghan


142 pages

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pub: 2012-02-20
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A taboo-shattering book, How Local Resilience Creates Sustainable Societies sets out how visionary national and local leaders can transform unsustainable societies as they attempt to recover from an age of austerity. By eliminating the culture of dependency in a socially and environmentally progressive way, the book shows how to transcend the political and social spectrum and even unify people around a common purpose. It does this by examining how leaders can make smarter interventions within complex systems to prevent the high cost of social and environmental failure arising from our current economic model. The book explores a number of contemporary themes (e.g. green economy, sustainable urban development, banking reform, equality and democratic renewal) and draws on a wealth of global case learning (e.g. Amsterdam, Brighton, Cape Town, Madison, Matara and Toyama).


"How Local Resilience Creates Sustainable Societies asks why orthodox approaches to sustainable urban development have failed and what can be done about this. In doing this Philip Monaghan seeks to unsettle and challenge orthodoxies and highlight the importance of transferring power to ordinary people to build resilience. He makes a practical contribution to how this can be done in an age of austerity. In doing so, he opens up a debate that will be of interest to policy makers, agencies, academics, consultants, community groups and individuals." Dr Mike Hodson, SURF Centre, University of Salford

"Resilience is now, in terms of local action, the fastest growing field of practice and experimentation. Hope and risk are two sides of the same coin and this book, in tune with our times, will help equip you to handle both." – Ed Mayo, Secretary General, Co-operatives UK

"[Monaghan’s] vision is of society improved from the bottom up, with leadership at the local level building sustainable and resilient communities. And those currently in power, governing from the top down, would be well-advised to read this book, understand what is beginning to shake their world, and why, and join in with the action. […] Unlike many books dealing with these issues, focusing on what has gone wrong in the world and so causing a depressed feeling in many readers, the bulk of this book deals with remedies to the problems, many already in use, and others awaiting implementation over a wider range." Juliet Adams, Librarian, Project Lyttelton, in Living Economies

Table of Contents

Part 1: Ending the Wrong Kind of Dependency Culture 1.Establishing need 1.1 Gaps in resiliency work to date? 1.2 A review of the literature 2.Tomorrow and today’s problems: making change universally desirable 2.1 Dilemmas faced by global market regulators and local urban planners 2.2 A new paradigm for tomorrow’s problems 2.3 Struggles to make sophisticated responses in a changing world? 3.A common set of values 3.1 No tinkering around the edges 3.2 Unifying beliefs 3.3 Significant behaviour or not? Part 2. Localism Without Local Government 4.Devolving responsibility 4.1 Communities on the front line or in the firing line? 4.2 Navigating shifts in power, rights and responsibilities 5.Negotiated rights and sanctions 5.1 Return to fairness through contribution 5.2 Area-based negotiations 6.The harmonised constitution 6.1 The journey from rights to responsibilities to subsidiarity 6.2 An enabling constitution for local leadership Part 3. Just Cities 7 .Incentivised migration to compact cities 7.1 Reaffirming the need for compactness 7.2 Ensuring smart density wins 8.Urban development and the green economy 8.1 Pro-business but anti-weak governance: shedding the right kind of caution 8.2 Problem of definition 8.3 A decarbonised economy the north and south can believe in 9.Decoupling vested interests 9.1 Ending unhealthy relationships 9.2 Strength through diversity as well as devolution Part 4. Transition From Unstable to Resilient Societies: Hard to Make, Hard to Break 10.Smarter and less frequent interventions 10.1 Resource flows 10.2 Harnessing the positive power of markets and people 10.3 Systems thinking: from information hoarding to place-based governance 11.Infused resilience: a theory of change 11.1 A refined interpretation of resilience 11.2 Embedding and maintaining empowerment 12.What you need to do next 12.1 The right type of local leadership 12.2 Over to you

About the Author

Philip Monaghan is an internationally recognised writer and strategist on economic development and environmental sustainability. He is Founder and CEO of Infrangilis

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Environmental Science