Community resilience: Exploring concepts and realities

Start date: 
Wed, 12/12/2012
Closing date: 
Wed, 12/12/2012
Cantor Building, Room 9206 (4 pm)
Event contact: 
Dr Tony Gore

David Robinson and Deborah Platts-Fowler - Sheffield Hallam University


The economic downturn and public sector retrenchment are placing mounting pressure on many communities. What can agencies working with increasingly limited resources do to support communities under pressure? Buffering communities against the full force of these pressures by promoting resilience could represent a possible answer. This seminar reflects on this possibility by presenting findings to emerge from a study undertaken in partnership with Sheffield City Council that explored community resilience in the city and sought to expose the factors promoting resilience. Two particular aims guided the research: to establish a working definition of community resilience for Sheffield; and to identify factors that support and promote community resilience. The findings point to the possibilities for getting 'more for less' by equipping local communities to cope with adversity and change. This is not about solving problems that are ultimately the consequence of national and global forces. Sorting these problems remains the responsibility of central government. Neither is it about relieving public agencies of their statutory duties. Rather, the focus is on helping buffer communities against the full force of the economic downturn and the consequences of public sector retrenchment.


Deborah Platts-Fowler is a former Research Fellow in CRESR with extensive research interests in crime and anti-social behaviour, community cohesion, youth policy and the broader social forces affecting young people, and new immigration, including asylum reception, induction, and dispersal. With expertise in both quantitative and qualitative methods, she has recently commenced a doctoral research programme on the 2011 riots in English towns and cities.

David Robinson is professor of housing and public policy in CRESR. His research interests centre around efforts to reveal, comprehend and proffer a response to the situations and experiences of individuals, households, groups and local communities struggling to negotiate a satisfactory accommodation with the various opportunities, constraints and risks inherent within the UK housing system. Particular areas of specialism include housing market change, social and community cohesion, neighbourhood experiences of new immigration, understanding and responding to racialised inequalities in housing, and homelessness.

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