Resilience Hubs White Paper

Shifting Power to Communities and Increasing Community Capacity


Resilience Hubs are community-serving facilities augmented to:

  1. support residents and
  2. coordinate resource distribution and services before, during, or after a natural hazard event.

They leverage established, trusted, and community-managed facilities that are used year-round as neighborhood centers for community-building activities. Designed well, Resilience Hubs can equitably enhance community resilience while reducing GHG emissions and improving local quality of life. They are a smart local investment with the potential to reduce burden on local emergency response teams, improve access to health improvement initiatives, foster greater community cohesion, and increase the effectiveness of community-centered institutions and programs.

Moreover, Resilience Hubs provide an opportunity to build local community power and leadership. They are focal points for neighborhood revitalization that provide the resources residents need to enhance their own individual capacity while also supporting and strengthening their neighborhood and neighbors. Instead of being led by local government, they are intended to be supported by local government and other partners but led and managed by community members, community-based organizations, and/or faith-based groups.

The purpose of this document is to establish definitions and capture ideas to help community organizations, local governments, and other interested parties implement and support community Resilience Hubs. These ideas are drawn from local experiences in several Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) cities including Washington DC and Baltimore. Certain features of the Resilience Hub concept, such as providing temporary shelter during emergencies, have long been in use within communities. The concept of Resilience Hubs as defined here, however, is intentionally more comprehensive in purpose and scope, focusing on preparedness, adaptation, mitigation, and equity.

This is the first of a set of guidance materials that will be developed and shared by USDN to help USDN members and others to more efficiently consider and take action on local Resilience Hubs.

Download the White Paper.