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Lessons for Today from the Colorado Resiliency Framework

Principles to Support Colorado Through the Pandemic and Beyond
March 17, 2021

After the tragic and disruptive 2012 wildfires and 2013 floods, the State of Colorado recognized the need to be more proactive in preparing for unprecedented events.

Enter the Colorado Resiliency Framework

In response, it established the Colorado Resiliency Office and released Colorado’s Resiliency Framework in 2015 — the first of its kind in the nation.

The Framework helps the state to uncover issues, improve conditions and better protect against future events and vulnerabilities. And while the Framework arose from the need to tackle many of the climate-related struggles that lie ahead, insights and lessons are applicable to the other challenges we face as a state — like a pandemic.

Key areas of focus in the 2015 Framework include:

  • Maintaining Colorado’s economic success, supporting the workforce, and increasing the ability of the state and local economies to rebound from immediate stress or shock.
  • Addressing the health and well-being of all community members.
  • Supporting housing supply and stability.
  • Supporting infrastructure maintenance and improvements.

With a 2020 update, the Colorado Resiliency Framework has evolved to include addressing social inequities and unique community needs, and pursuing economic diversity and vibrancy.

Colorado Resiliency Framework

Using the Framework to Guide our Recovery

Together, the key sectors and themes highlight the interconnectedness of the challenges we face. The framework makes it clear that to solve these problems and become more resilient as a state, we must work across sectors, industries and communities.

Collaboration is in Colorado’s DNA. It helped us get to the thriving Colorado that worked for some people pre-pandemic, and it will get us back to a thriving Colorado that works for all people post-pandemic.

As we think of life beyond the pandemic, the Framework — and its collaborative and interconnected way of thinking — reminds us that nonprofit, business, and public entities all have a role to play.

And the new federal stimulus package, set to deliver billions of dollars to Colorado, provides the resources to help make that happen.

Strategies may include:

  • Cross-sector and/or public-private collaborations that work at the intersection of these complex issues.
  • Promoting programs that suffered during the pandemic to protect and support Colorado’s most vulnerable populations.
  • Engaging all Colorado communities to understand their needs so that we can support resiliency within all populations.
  • Creating innovative and inclusive approaches to encourage continued improvement and advancement of Colorado communities.

To move Colorado forward to a more resilient tomorrow, we must remember that we can only get there together. An opportunity exists for us to collaborate and cultivate new strategies. Let’s continue to work together, find new ways to support Coloradans, and make positive change within our communities.

Read the full 2020 Colorado Resiliency Framework.