Resilience Institute (RI)

Alternating Black and white city-scapes layered on top of each other

About the Institute

The Resilience Institute is part of Western Washington University's Huxley College of the Environment. It facilitates scholarship, education, and practice on reducing social and physical vulnerability to natural hazards. The Institute promotes community-based planning as a way to minimize loss and enhance recovery from disasters. Such community-based planning is attuned to both our dynamic natural environment and to social and environment justice. The Institute seeks to foster equitable, inclusive and resilient communities in Washington state and its interdependent global communities.

We define resilient communities as one that maintains services and livelihoods after environmental hazard events; if services and livelihoods are disrupted, recovery occurs rapidly, with minimal social disruption, and results in a new, more equitable, condition for all members of a community.

The Resilience Institute was established as a research and development component of Western Washington University's undergraduate minor in Disaster Reduction and Emergency Planning. Its efforts are aimed at developing a cutting-edge research agenda to a) facilitate greater disaster risk awareness and reduction and b) support participatory planning processes in emergency planning in Washington State, the Northwest region, and beyond as a strategy for building community resilience.