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County Solutions and Innovation Blog​​
May 07
NACo Hosts Resilient Counties Forum in San Francisco

Written by Kathy Nothstine​, NACo Program Director​.

william morris at RC forum.JPG
William Morris, General Services Director for Eddy County, N.M., describes ideas for smart phone apps to improve county resilience at the NACo Resilient Counties forum.

On May 1 and 2, NACo hosted Resilient Counties: Growing Stronger Places, a forum for county leaders. Held as part of NACo President Linda Langston’s 2013-2014 presidential initiative, Resilient Counties, this forum brought over 100 county elected officials, county staff, state association representatives, federal and state agency officials and partners from the private and non-profit sectors to the City and County of San Francisco to learn about current trends and best practices in community and economic resiliency.

In order to remain healthy, vibrant, safe and economically competitive, America’s counties must be able to anticipate and adapt to all types of change. Resilient communities recover faster and better, and fostering resilience makes for a stronger community and a thriving county. Via keynote presentations, panel discussions, group exercises and mobile workshops, participants at the Resilient Counties forum learned how counties can better work with community stakeholders and use new technology and innovative design to improve their ability to respond to changing physical, social and economic conditions.

Highlights included an opening panel discussion with presentations from county leaders that are seeking to diversify and strengthen local economies in Ohio, Oregon and California, and a lunchtime session describing technology tools that can streamline county government processes in periods of post-disaster recovery. Forum participants also visited several locations in San Francisco to learn more about the region’s innovative work in regional planning, earthquake preparedness and emergency response. County leaders visited the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Center (SPUR), the San Francisco Emergency Operations Center and the San Francisco EPICENTER, a pop-up collaborative space for earthquake policy research and development. The forum also featured discussions of engaging the non-profit and faith-based sectors to build social capital, and an interactive group exercise to develop software apps to promote local resiliency.

All presentations and materials from the Resilient Counties: Growing Stronger Places forum are located online here. Finally, be sure to register for NACo’s Annual Conference: County Solutions and Idea Marketplace, to be held July 11-14 in Orleans Parish, La. The conference will include mobile tours showcasing resiliency efforts in Greater New Orleans and resiliency training workshops for county officials!


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