Due: December 2023
Principle: Supports a resilient workforce and community that are able to withstand stresses and shocks, while maintaining essential functions and recovering quickly, effectively, and equitably.
Arvada City Council identified community resilience as a priority Strategic Result in 2019, initiating crucial steps to identify whole-community strategies to increase the city's ability to withstand, recover, and thrive in the face of unexpected disasters, shocks or stresses. A key strategic result on our resilience journey is the launch of a citywide resilience collaborative. This collaborative will ensure community ownership of meeting identified resilience goals and targets now and in the future.
Being able to withstand, recover, and thrive in the face of future shocks and stresses is a cornerstone of our community vision. As a result, the City of Arvada and elected leadership have committed to taking creative, proactive steps to increase the resilience of our community.
At the City of Arvada, we understand that a successful, sustained response to our resilience challenges will require a proactive, whole-community approach. This means that in addition to our internal resilience planning and implementation activity we are also committed to partnering with our residents, business owners, and other local stakeholders to build capacity across our diverse body of community members. An important element of building our capacity is the launch of a citywide resilience collaborative (by 12/23) to ensure whole-community ownership over meeting identified resilience targets.
A draft of the City of Arvada Municipal Resilience Strategy was completed in October 2019. In the coming year, a final plan will be presented to council and the public for adoption. Key strategic partners have been identified and engaged and planning has begun around formally establishing the Collaborative by 2023. This Strategic Result is on target.
Neighborhood Gathering Places
This performance measure assesses increases in the implementation of neighborhood connectivity and preparedness by tracking the # of neighborhoods who have designated central gathering point as part of Neighbors Connected.
A resilient neighborhood is one that is able to survive and thrive after a shock such as a natural disaster, water shortage, or even an economic downturn. In the event of a disaster, local first responders will most likely be neighbors and other community members who are prepared to act. Continuing with Arvada’s vision of being a strong, resilient community of neighborhoods, the City funds Neighborhood Improvement Grants each year to support the creation of central gathering places (aka Resilience Hubs). Neighborhood Improvement Grants are designed to support Resilience Hubs that:
- Activate or establish central neighborhood gathering places that serve to connect and help neighbors during blue sky days as well as during times of emergency.
- Build neighborhood identity by bringing positive, permanent assets into the neighborhood that encourage gathering and sharing information on local situations, needs, and resources.
- Offer venues for conversations and training about community health, emergency preparedness, or volunteerism.
- Enhance community resilience by strengthening connections between neighbors.
We believe that every neighborhood deserves a great community space -- one that residents can take ownership of and make their own. Some neighborhoods already have informal places where “neighboring” happens -- a front porch where people get together on warm evenings, a local park where pets greet each other, a neighborhood garden where information and “hellos” are shared. This grant is an opportunity to activate these places by providing resources to design the most successful neighborhood gathering space possible. Additionally, once neighborhood gathering spaces are established, Arvada PD and AFPD will be able to reach community members more effectively to share information in the event of a large disaster or communication service disruption.
In December 2018 a total of 8 project applications were received for the annual Neighborhood Improvement Grant, 4 projects were completed, 3 can be classified as neighborhood gathering places.
In December 2019, a total of 9 project applications were received for the annual Neighborhood Improvement Grant (1 more than in 2018). Three projects were completed and 2 can be classified as neighborhood gathering places.
Data will come from the Neighbors Connected enrollment forms and neighborhood leader network surveys/questionnaires.
Data will also come from annual Neighborhood Improvement Grant applications.
Sense of Community
This performance measure assesses increases in sense of community by tracking the % of Community Survey respondents who rate their neighborhood as having a "strong sense of community" (i.e. a "10" on a 0 -10 point scale). Our goal is to increase or maintain the 2017 level of sense of community reported by our residents.
Based on the results of the 2017 Community Survey, 11% of survey respondents currently rate their neighborhood as having a strong sense of community.
Strong social connections act as the super glue that holds communities together in times of crisis and research shows that communities can become more resilient by spending the resources they do have on fostering strong relationships between neighbors.
Recent disaster research has demonstrated that post-disaster social networks mirror pre-disaster conditions and that strong connections between neighbors are one of the most important factors in driving a fast, successful recovery. For this reason, we are tracking sense of community in Arvada as a key indicator of our resilience to shocks and change.
In 2019, 49% of respondents rated their sense of community as a 7 or higher on a 0-10 point scale. This is a 5% decrease compared to 2017 survey results. Percentages increased for both 7 and 8 ratings, but both 9 and 10 ratings decreased. Only 9% of respondents rated sense of community as a 0-3 rating.
Arvada Community Survey