Colorado Resiliency Office - Community Resilience Assessments and Action Guides
Student Researcher: Ryan Maye Handy
Client: Colorado Resiliency Office
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This capstone is an independent community resiliency assessment tool created for the Colorado Resiliency Office, or the CRO. The office, part of the Colorado Division of Labor and Affairs, is a state agency dedicated to promoting resiliency, or “the ability to adapt to changing conditions and rapidly recovery from disruptions due to emergencies.” The assessment tool should function as a community-level survey that can be completed by cities of any size and by officials with no particular expertise in planning.
This assessment tool is part of a larger effort by the CRO to map Colorado’s statewide and regional risks, to include natural hazards and social vulnerabilities. In particular, the CRO hopes that a large-scale analysis of risks would help the office target rural, underserved and less well-resourced communities for its work. Research suggests that local resiliency assessments are crucial assets for communities that lack the planning staff or expertise to run a resiliency planning process. Ideally, a community resiliency assessment provides communities with a roadmap to incorporating resiliency into their existing or future plans. This tool aligns with the CRO’s 2020 framework update, which identified six areas of resiliency: Future-Ready Economy and Workforce; Climate Change and Natural Hazards; Building and Infrastructure; Agriculture and Food Security; Housing Attainability; and Community Capacity. This capstone has three parts: research of existing assessment tools and recommendation of a tool; creation of the assessment tool; pilot program with a local community to get feedback on the tool.