The Community Resilience Reader (Paperback)

Essential Resources for an Era of Upheaval

By Daniel Lerch (Editor), Sarah Byrnes (Contributions by), Chuck Collins (Contributions by), Rosemary Cooper (Contributions by), Denise Fairchild (Contributions by), Joshua Farley (Contributions by), Richard Heinberg (Contributions by), Leena Iyengar (Contributions by), Mike Lydon (Contributions by), Asher Miller (Contributions by), Stephanie Mills (Contributions by), William Rees (Contributions by), Margaret Robertson (Contributions by), David Salt (Contributions by), Scott Sawyer (Contributions by), Howard Silverman (Contributions by), William Throop (Contributions by), Brian Walker, PhD (Contributions by), Al Weinrub (Contributions by), Rebecca Wodder (Contributions by)

Island Press, 9781610918602, 336pp.

Publication Date: October 12, 2017

List Price: 28.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


The sustainability challenges of yesterday have become today’s resilience crises. National and global efforts have failed to stop climate change, transition from fossil fuels, and reduce inequality. We must now confront these and other increasingly complex problems by building resilience at the community level. But what does that mean in practice, and how can it be done in a way that’s effective and equitable?

The Community Resilience Reader offers a new vision for creating resilience, through essays by leaders in such varied fields as science, policy, community building, and urban design. The Community Resilience Reader combines a fresh look at the challenges humanity faces in the 21st century, the essential tools of resilience science, and the wisdom of activists, scholars, and analysts working with community issues on the ground. It shows that resilience is a process, not a goal; how resilience requires learning to adapt but also preparing to transform; and that resilience starts and ends with the people living in a community. Despite the formidable challenges we face, The Community Resilience Reader shows that building strength and resilience at the community level is not only crucial, but possible.

From Post Carbon Institute, the producers of the award-winning The Post Carbon Reader, The Community Resilience Reader is a valuable resource for students, community leaders, and concerned citizens.

About the Author

Joshua Farley is a fellow at the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics and professor of community development and applied economics at the University of Vermont. He is coauthor with Herman Daly of Ecological Economics: Principles and Applications (Washington, DC: Island Press, 2003; 2nd ed., 2010), which helped define the then-emerging field of ecological economics. His broad research interests focus on the design of economic institutions capable of balancing what is biophysically possible with what is socially, psychologically, and ethically desirable. He has previously served as the executive director of the University of Maryland’s International Institute for Ecological Economics. Farley is a fellow of Post Carbon Institute.

Stephanie Mills has been engaged in the ecology movement for more than thirty years, and in 1996 was named by Utne Reader as one of the world's leading visionaries. Her books include Whatever Happened to Ecology? (Sierra Club Books, 1989), In Service of the Wild (Beacon Press, 1995), and Turning Away from Technology (Sierra Club Books, 1997). A prolific writer and speaker on issues of ecology and social change, Mills lives in the Great Lakes Bioregion in the Upper Midwest. Her website is:

David Salt has been writing about science, scientists, and the environment for much of the last three decades. He created and then produced The Helix (Australia’s best-loved science magazine for young people) for more than a decade, served as communications manager for the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Division of Wildlife and Ecology, and was the inaugural editor of an Australian version of the popular science magazine Newton. More recently, Salt has written and edited books on farm forestry and agri-environment policy. He currently edits two research magazines, Decision Point and Science for Saving Species, and is based in Canberra at the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions at the Australian National University. With Brian Walker, Salt coauthored Resilience Thinking (Washington, DC: Island Press, 2006) and Resilience Practice (Washington, DC: Island Press, 2012).

Brian Walker has been one of the leading proponents of resilience theory and practice in the past two decades. He is currently an honorary fellow at Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australian National University visiting professor, and a fellow in the International Beijer Institute for Ecological Economics in Sweden. Walker was chief of Australia's CSIRO Wildlife and Ecology (1985–1999), chaired the Global Change and Terrestrial Ecosystems Project of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program (1990–1997), and was director of the international Resilience Alliance (2000–2010). He is a fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry. He has a long list of scientific publications and has served on the editorial boards of five international journals. With David Salt, Walker coauthored Resilience Thinking (Washington, DC: Island Press, 2006) and Resilience Practice (Washington, DC: Island Press, 2012).

Praise For The Community Resilience Reader: Essential Resources for an Era of Upheaval

"A collection of works by a diverse stable of authors that seeks to illuminate the concept of resilience...The Community Resilience Reader is a valuable resource for thinking in a new way about almost every aspect of our communities." 

— Civil Engineering

"Inspirational, aspirational, and grounded enough to be practicalThe Community Resilience Reader: Essential Resources for an Era of Upheaval, edited by Daniel Lerch, is a useful text for planners who wish to strive for sustainability...For those planners who entered the profession to change the world, this book might reignite that passion. For students who are just discovering planning, this book might give hope that making the world a better place is still within our grasp."

— Journal of the American Planning Association

"The Post Carbon Institute does not disappoint with The Community Resilience Reader. The book offers a wealth of ideas and examples for building community resilience in all aspects of society. Post Carbon Institute offers views that may be considered radical to many—but that’s their approach, and I love it. I wholeheartedly believe my undergraduate students will greatly benefit from The Community Resilience Reader as I have."

— Ann Scheerer, Academic Adviser, Sustainability Double Degree Program, Oregon State University

"Daniel Lerch and others have created a comprehensive, informative, and practical guidebook for advancing our transition into the Anthropocene. The authors address at once the foundational concepts of sustainability and resilience, while providing a call to action for communities worldwide to work together and prepare for the epoch transition upon us."

— Vivek Shandas, Professor, Urban Studies and Planning, Portland State University

"Daniel Lerch and the team at the Post Carbon Institute have done it again. This collection of authors digs deeply into the topics of global carrying capacity, economics, community, ecology, energy, and other resilience-related themes. Building on the success of the 2010 Post Carbon Reader and other publications produced by the Post Carbon Institute, this new book is a resource I will use in some of my advanced undergraduate courses. I will also recommend it to local decision makers who are trying to find ways to guide their own communities forward in a positive direction. Each chapter is nutrient dense and leads the reader to think deeply about our current operating procedures on planet earth and the need for profound change."

— Steve Whitman, Adjunct Faculty in Community Planning and Sustainability, Plymouth State University and Colby Sawyer College

"The Community Resilience Reader has not come a minute too soon. This is essential reading for college classes, local planning boards, conservation commissions, community activists, resilience study groups and anyone shaken by the environmental, energy, economic and equity crises now confronting humankind. Readers looking for ways to navigate the troubled waters ahead will find innovative, thoughtful, and wise guidance throughout these pages. This book reflects the paradigm shift so desperately needed from a system of unsustainable growth to one of resilience and reintegration with the natural world. Everything that needs to be done is doable—but only if humankind digs in to do the hard work ahead. The Community Resilience Reader serves as a much needed guidepost."

— Nancy Lee Wood, Director of the Institute for Sustainability and Post-Carbon Education, Bristol Community College (Mass.)