Government’s Place in Helping Communities

Government’s Place in Helping Communities

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Government’s Place in Helping Communities

Haggerty, Roemer, Haggerty and Rose (2018) argue that the government has the central responsibility of ascertaining communities are resilient to external changes through effective investments and policies covering local communities. The consensus is that communities are complex, dynamic and in a continuous state of flux. Therefore, the communities are always seeking to adapt to some external form of adversity. Under the concept of resilience, it is the government’s job to help local communities identify and understand their underlying needs, requirements and capacities. Through an analysis of the coal transition, the authors inform that governments should implement strategies that coordinate policy and transition planning in addressing local revenue flow, environmental quality and economic rigidity.

The authors provide a detailed and accurate study on the role government planning plays in helping communities adopt to change. For one, the article does not cover resilience from the perspective of surviving external shocks but from the ability to transform and fulfill potentials following shocks. The local government should provide an array of public services, including public safety, social health services and economic development initiatives to help communities succeed in changing their economy (Haggerty et al. 2018). A transition plan can only address the loss of revenue through a change in the local economy. 

The City of New Orleans is a good example of why transition plans need to alter the economy as part of adapting to adversity. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the city moved from prioritizing state wide renewal processes to cultivating local solutions. While the strategy did little to improve the economic downturn in the short-term, the transition plan did heighten political will, citizenry engagement and innovation. As a result, the community is more aware of what works and what does not.


Haggerty, J., Haggerty, M., Roemer, K. & Rose, J. (2018). Planning for the local impacts of coal facility closure: Emerging strategies in the U.S. West. Resources Policy, 57, 69-80.

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