Of the varied dimensions that comprise resilience, we must not ignore a basic functional level…personal financial adaptation.
No city in the United States, nor in any of the developed economic powers, is truly “resilient” unless the population is given the monetary tools to adapt to changing global conditions, trends and threats.
Much of the focus of governmental planners with regard to an altering climate has been to strengthen the “built environment.” This almost singular focus is myopic. We lose our shared social fabric if national and state governments fail to enrich our economy with 21st Century financial tools to deal with sea level rise specifically and a warmer greenhouse atmosphere generally.
For example, Washington D.C., can foster personal economic resilience in the form of new tax policies, mortgage modification programs for those impacted by rising seas and tax free adaptation savings accounts which are focused on strengthening the fiscal mesh of our communities.
Cities cannot be genuinely resilient without policies and programs designed to enhance personal adaptation. I’m speaking of the “micro” level. Once enacted (and tested in the Courts) responsible and constructive functional tools can bring resilience down from the 10,000 foot level into the grasp of the individual.
Bottom line: Governments can be incubators of stronger and more flexible metropolitan areas in these challenged times by studying and acting upon the individual’s desire to be a financial partner in our shared emergency of climate change.
Taking personal responsibility means being able to utilize new, innovative financial and economic tools, created by political leaders and the financial world, to make us stronger.
Let’s broaden our view to grasp innovative pecuniary opportunities to be financially resilient in the coming decades.