Community collaboration in response to crisis is the focus of a book edited by Bruce Goldstein, an associate professor in the Department of Planning and Design at the University of Colorado Denver. The surge of collective energy after a traumatic event, such as a natural disaster, economic collapse or shocking acts of violence, is the narrative thread of “Collaborative Resilience: Moving Through Crisis to Opportunity.” As a professor at Virginia Tech in spring 2007, Goldstein got an up-close perspective on the healing process after the infamous campus massacre there.
“Has Virginia Tech recovered? I think the school has recovered, but not just from the passage of time,” Goldstein said. “The people had to intentionally unify in order to recover, heal and to function again. They had to face an act that attacked the essence of what the university is and does.”
The solidarity with which Blacksburg, Va., responded is representative of how other communities have recovered from stressful events. Drawing on recent work in the fields of planning and natural resource management, the book examines a range of efforts to enhance resilience through collaboration, describing communities that have survived and even thrived by building trust and interdependence.
Through this flexible process, “Collaborative Resilience” examines how transformative social change can and does occur – often outside the bounds of government and private sector efforts. The book has received widespread endorsements from leading scholars in the field of collaboration planning and social-ecological resilience studies.
The book “deals with an important and emergent theme – the contribution of community collaborative to building resilience and, ultimately, transformative social change," Goldstein said.