The chief characteristic of sustainable systems is resilience, or the capacity of the system to “absorb disturbance, to undergo change and still retain essentially the same function, structure, and feedbacks.” It is a concept long familiar to engineers, mathematicians, ecologists, designers, and military planners.
Resilient systems are characterized by redundancy so that failure of any one component does not cause the entire system to crash. They consist of diverse components that are easily repairable, widely distributed, cheap, locally supplied, durable, and loosely coupled. However, resilience differs from sustainable development in one critical respect. Sustainability is sometimes described as an end-state as if it could be achieved once and for all. The goal of resilience, on the other hand, implies the capacity to make ongoing adjustments to changing political, economic, and ecological conditions.
In practical terms, resilience is a design strategy that aims to reduce vulnerabilities by shortening supply lines, improving redundancy in critical areas, bolstering local capacity, and solving for a deeper pattern of dependence and disability."
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As our numbers increase, so space for other animals and plants decreases. Our skills and technological ingenuity seem to know no bounds. Having...”