What Are Hubs?

Resilience Hubs are community-serving facilities augmented to support residents, coordinate communication, distribute resources, and reduce carbon pollution while enhancing quality of life. Hubs can meet a myriad of physical and social goals by utilizing a trusted physical space such as a community center, recreation facility, or multi-family housing building as well as the surrounding infrastructure such as a vacant lot, community park, or local business. They provide an opportunity to effectively work at the nexus of community resilience, emergency management, climate change mitigation, and social equity while also providing opportunities for communities to become more self-determining, socially connected, and successful before, during, and after disruptions. Resilience Hubs serve communities in three operating conditions: Normal (>99% of the time), Disruption, and Recovery. 

Hubs In Three Modes


Resilience Hubs provide a home base for residents, businesses, and organizations to gather for workshops, events, meals, and training opportunities that benefit a range of community needs, including resilience. Hubs function in normal mode the majority of the time, meaning there are no hazards present and all critical infrastructure is available and functioning properly. 


Although Resilience Hubs will function at “normal mode” most of the time, they are intended to also act as centers for preparedness, response, and recovery. In the event of a disruption, Hubs will switch from Normal Mode into reacting and responding to the disruption and will enhance operations to better support immediate community needs. With enhanced systems and capacity, Hubs can ideally help reduce the need of emergency services and better connect residents and businesses with supplies, information and support during a disruption.    


Centering Equity


North America’s governments were founded on faulty assumptions, designed to serve only a subset of the population and to extract from natural and human resources to benefit that subset. This design has resulted in over-extraction of resources and racial inequity. As a result, people of color and indigenous populations are impacted first and worst by a rapidly changing climate. Investing in solutions that center human needs is necessary to mitigate those disproportionate impacts. These broken systems still exist today, and to solve the climate and racial inequity crises, solutions need to acknowledge and repair those systems.


Implementation and support of Resilience Hubs are prime examples of how local governments and partners can work to counter these broken systems. Resilience Hubs provide an opportunity for local governments to shift power to residents and community-based organizations to determine their own needs, identify how to meet those needs, and build relationships that will increase their influence on future decision-making processes. Local governments can provide support. 


Resilient communities are equitable communities. Resilience Hubs provide an opportunity to consider communities’ social, economic and physical needs in normal/everyday mode which, in turn, enhances their ability to anticipate, accommodate and more quickly recover during disruption. Hubs are a way to solve for multiple different problems in all three resilience modes by enhancing community cohesion, building trust, shifting power, and enhancing quality of life. 

Reframing and Restructuring


Resilience Hubs provide an opportunity to work at the intersection of racial equity, climate resilience, and GHG mitigation. For decades local governments have focused more on technological approaches and solutions rather than centering work on enhancing quality of life and respectful relationships with the surrounding environment. Hubs provide an opportunity to reframe project processes and truly put the needs of frontline communities first.


Resilience Hubs function more in the grey space between disciplines and departments. Instead of being a project of one stakeholder group or agency, they require collaboration amongst many disciplines while meeting goals and providing benefits for multiple stakeholders. Centering Hubs on community needs and benefits shifts project objectives and provides multiple opportunities to increase community adaptive capacity and enhance resilience while simultaneously lowering GHG emissions and improving human health.


Resilience Hubs are an opportunity to be proactive and to anticipate future climate conditions while also plan to accommodate future changes in technology. Programming, services, and site retrofits should take into account future increases in volatility and variability of climate conditions while also providing opportunities to integrate future technology that may be cost prohibitive or lack political will in current conditions. 

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