Written by Kathy Nothstine, NACo Program Director.
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
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
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