Beyond Bounce Back: A Healing Justice and Trauma-Informed Approach to Urban Climate Resilience

Camponeschi, Chiara
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University of Guelph

This dissertation examines how municipal governments have organized to respond to the climate crisis, particularly how the creation and circulation of official climate plans has advanced a shared narrative of ‘mainstream resilience’. It argues that by conflating resilience with bouncing back this narrative successfully narrows down complex social-ecological analyses into a more manageable––thus easier to manipulate––idea of resilience and vulnerability, one that largely excludes and discounts local community perspectives (Fainstein, 2018; Leitner et al., 2018; Powell et al., 2014) while opening up lucrative new opportunities for profit. A critical engagement with mainstream resilience narratives therefore presents a timely opportunity to advance socio-ecological agendas that are explicit in their demands for equitable resilience outcomes. To this end, the dissertation introduces the original concept of ‘integrative resilience’, a framework that is informed by a bioecological reading of vulnerability, a trauma-informed orientation to municipal climate planning, and a healing justice approach to service delivery and policymaking. Through this framework, it argues that municipal governments must expand the mandate of their climate interventions to include a robust mental health component to their resilience plans in light of the potential for traumatization that exposure to climate hazards and lack of attuned response can have on local communities. It concludes by arguing that integrative resilience can stimulate new forms of civic imagination and grassroots organizing, keeping institutions accountable while working to meet changing needs in a changing climate

resilience, vulnerability, climate change, neoliberal urban governance, trauma, healing justice, bioecological theory, cities, urban geography, trauma-informed care, community engagement, participatory urbanism