The other day I wrote that some in the earthquake-striken city of Christchurch, New Zealand, were getting heartily sick of the term "resilience" being used as a means to undermine the crisis that city has been facing. I argued that increasing the actualresilience of the city was crucial, but that the term could quickly loose meaning as an empty clieche or, worse, a means to dismiss the problems the city faces.
So we'll be watching with interest a new building project in Christchurch that looks set to become the country's largest solar subdivision, boasting solar systems on all 2,200 homes. The project is a collaboration between SolarCity, Maxim Developments, Panasonic and Christchurch-based EnaSolar.The jobs, of course, will be welcome in a city that's been down on its luck. But will the project increase the actual resilience of the community, rather than just be a flash exercise in "solar bling"?
Details so far of specifics—walkability, overall energy performance, and of course earthquake resistence—remain sketchy. But given the city's recent history, you would hope that building resilient will be a no brainer.
Watch this space.