A value-focused thinking approach to measuring community resilience
Community resilience is an important component of long- term planning for a town or a city. Resilience generally refers to the ability of a system or a community to withstand a disruption and to recover from a disruption, but specific definitions and measures for resilience can vary widely from researcher to research or from discipline to discipline. Community resilience is often measured using a set of indicators based on census, socioeconomic, and community organizational data, but little research has attempted to assess how closely these measures correlate with a community’s ability to withstand or recover from a disruption. Engineering resilience metrics often are based on the “resilience triangle” concept. The resilience triangle assesses the loss in performance for a system and the time until the system’s performance returns to its pre-disruption (or a better) state. Although these concepts can be applied to community resilience, determining appropriate metrics for the performance of a community remains a difficult challenge. This research proposes to measure community resilience based on value-focused thinking. We propose an objectives hierarchy that begins with a community decision makers' fundamental values or objectives for community resilience. Each of these five objectives is further broken down into measurable attributes that focus on specific outcomes that a decision maker would like to achieve if a disruption occurs. Since these attributes are very diverse and have different units, value functions can be used to assess the contribution of each attribute toward the overall resilience.