Shared Space Chapter 1 - Reaching for Resilience

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Shared space is a locality - where we live; an emotional space - a sense of belonging; our shared visions, understanding and goals, and how to participate. It is the focus of the communities agenda , which provide s resilience , and lead s to strong and vibrant communites.

The communities agenda is the what and how . It creates resilience through strategy , and results from actions in the key sustenance , adaptation , engagement and opportunity clusters , and complements policy and government intervention . Combined they are " investments in the public good ," and support local and national economies.

Shared Spaces is meant to provide a " common conceptual starting gate " for the communities agenda framework , which otherwise vary between communities .

Social health is a determinent of a health y economy. Healthy communities create stability, create networks of trust, foster learning and networking , and are critical for innovation. They attract skilled workers , who are critical to competitiveness. They are therefore recognised as the "engines of nations," and it is important to develop quality of life factors and provide social infrastructure . This includes addressing issues such as racial tension, poverty , employment and housing issues, social exclusion. drug abuse and domestic violence.

Sustainable development considers social and cultural domains, like the communities agenda, but focuses on the environment rather than economy as does the communities agenda.

Resilience , the 1987 sustainable development concept of " development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs ," is a key requirement to cope and thrive.

In ecology, resilience represents stability, a steady state, or an ability to adapt to change brought about by outside pressures, while maintain ing integrity.

In the mental health field, the challenge model considers resilience the " ability to cope with stressful change, and perceived or actual threat by survivors. It identifies the internal traits - such as internal strengths, behaviours, and competencies - and intervention s, through partner ships with caring individuals and professionals, who provide high expectations and opportunities, as well as childhood development. Individuals are made stronger by handling difficult circumstances well. Resilient individuals engage actively, seek opportunities, and thrive in changing environment s. Adaptation, sustenance, opportunity and engage ment must be used at different times, individually and in combination.

The concept of clusters originated in research in the 1960s , with Michael Porter 's 1990s sector -based form, focused on geography, informal relationships, and support ing institutions. In the communities agenda framework, the social dimension of communities is the result of related geographic clusters that are synergistic networks of activity, which thrive due to proximity.

Clusters share and must be support ed and sustained by infrastructure - "quality foundation s" - which include a skilled and adaptable workforce, education , capital and advanced physical infrastructure .

The sustenance cluster focuses on decent affordable housing , adequate income , and health .

The adaptation cluster provide s coping and capacities facilities - child care , education , settlement . social capital , and core proficiencies.

The engage ment cluster addresses active participation, a sense of agency, the removal of barriers and provision of public space.

The opportunity cluster provide s an investment in employment related skills. Activities and organizations stem from collective entrepreneurs hip, creation of development accounts, learning bonds, home ownership, and financial assets , and are guided by principals of democratic engage ment and shared profit.

An issue is that clusters operate at cross purposes, are disconnected, have too few links, and a lack of collaboration . Therefore the communities agenda is tasked with creating health y resilience clusters by improving links between cluster actors. It may be necessary to fill gaps first, for example, addressing affordable housing . It is also tasked with improving links, and finally to improve links between communities and government .

Shared Space Chapter 2 - Organizing for complexity