Resilient STL: Healthy People, Healthy Places, Healthy Economy

By Fredericka Brandt, USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter 
Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator

What does resiliency mean? We’ve been hearing that word a lot recently, especially in the midst of this unprecedented public health crisis. What can be resilient? People? Places? The economy? 

Rebound, spring back, recovering readily from war, illness, adversity; buoyant and flexible enough not to break, are some definitions given to the word resilient. So, when a nation is hit with a pandemic, people are protesting for justice and change in public streets, the global climate crisis continues to gain speed as biodiversity decreases, and citizens around the world look to each other for hope, how can communities be resilient?

Resiliency starts with having the potential to create opportunity for doing new things, for innovation and for development. According to Chris Turner in his 2011 book, The Leap: How to Survive and Thrive in the Sustainable Economy, resilience values adaptation over stability, diffuse systems over centralized ones, loosely interconnected webs over strict hierarchies; it favors diversity (both biological and social) and places paramount value on natural and social capital (our environmental resources and the hearts and minds and passionate actions of the public). 

We have witnessed first-hand people on the front line serving and saving our community. We have enacted a Building Energy Performance Standard (BEPS) ordinance to help the City of St. Louis achieve its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 100% by 2050. The City of St. Louis has an Office of Resilience that quantified the state of racial equity in St. Louis as 45.57 out of 100 points in 2018 and that will coordinate implementation to build urban resilience through equity, inclusivity, and people. 

The more that people are aware of gaps and opportunities, the more resilient St. Louis can become. The US Green Building Council’s reimagined vison states, healthy people in healthy places equals a healthy economy, and we are striving as a non-profit to bring this resiliency, inclusivity, and sustainability into the culture of our community. 

If you’re interested in finding opportunities to strengthen your community or company’s resiliency the US Green Building Council — Missouri Gateway Chapter is hosting numerous virtual events in August 2020. 

August 7
Coffee Break: Engaging the Community in the Design Process

August 11
Evening Program: Energy Efficiency Measures with Resiliency Benefits

August 18
In-Depth Seminar: BIT Building Case Studies (BIT Building is a performance improvement framework that provides step-by-step best practice guidance and resources.)

Visit our website at usgbc-mogateway.org /calendar to register for your next virtual event with the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter. Our USGBC-MGC team is here to support you and our St. Louis community, eager to work together to create and restore buildings and communities that will regenerate and sustain the health and vitality of all life within a generation.