Multiple, concurrent steps need to be taken to prepare our cities, towns, and suburbs for the future. When analyzing the early adopters of sustainability planning, seven overall strategies stand out. These strategies can be expanded from sustainability planning to resilience planning:
1. Planning: Enable the development of vibrant mixed-use communities and higher-density regional centers that create a sense of place, allow for transportation choices (other than private automobiles), and protect regional agricultural, watershed, and wildlife-habitat lands.
2. Mobility: Invest in high-quality pedestrian, bicycle, and public transit infrastructure with easy access, shared connectivity, and rich information sources, from signage to cell-phone alerts.
3. Built Environment: Design new buildings and associated landscaping—and retrofit existing buildings—for state-of-the-art energy efficiency (e.g., smart-grid applications) and resource efficiency, integrated with mobility options.
4. Economy: Support businesses to provide quality local jobs and meet the needs of the new economy with renewable energy and other green technologies and services. Support local and regional economic decision-makers in adapting to the new world of rising prices, volatile energy supplies, and national demographic shifts.
5. Food: Develop regional organic food-production, food-processing, and metro-area food-distribution networks.
6. Resources: Drastically cut the use of water, the production of waste, and the use of materials, reusing them whenever possible.
7. Management: Engage government, businesses, and citizens together in resilience planning and implementation; track and communicate the successes, failures, and opportunities of this community-wide effort."