Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Resilience' of U.S. metros measured by online index developed by researchers

Date:
July 12, 2011
Source:
University at Buffalo
Summary:
Which U.S. metro region is most likely to come out of the next recession, natural disaster or other regional "shock" relatively unscathed? Rochester, Minn. A little more battered might be College Station-Bryan, Texas. These two regions are ranked first and last, respectively, by a new online tool measuring more than 360 U.S. metros for their "regional resilience," or capacity to weather acute and chronic stresses.

UB researchers examined more than 360 U.S. metro areas to determine which would be most likely to come out of the next recession, natural disaster or other regional "shock" relatively unscathed.
Credit: Image courtesy of University at Buffalo

Which U.S. metro region is most likely to come out of the next recession, natural disaster or other regional "shock" relatively unscathed? Rochester, Minn. A little more battered might be College Station-Bryan, Texas.

Related Articles


These two regions are ranked first and last, respectively, by a new online tool measuring more than 360 U.S. metros for their "regional resilience," or capacity to weather acute and chronic stresses ranging from gradual economic decline to rapid population gains to earthquakes and floods.

The Resilience Capacity Index (RCI), developed by Kathryn A. Foster, director of the Regional Institute, a research and public policy center of the University at Buffalo, produces a single statistic for each region based on its performance across 12 economic, socio-demographic and community connectivity indicators, ranging from income equality and business environment to voter participation and the population of health-insured.

As a gauge for how well a region is positioned to adapt to stress, the index can help regional leaders identify strengths and weaknesses and target related policy changes toward building their resilience capacity.

"Conceiving of regions as capable of adapting and transforming in response to challenges allows researchers and practitioners to understand the conditions and interventions that may make one place more or less resilient and why," said Foster, also a professor of urban and regional planning with UB's School of Architecture and Planning.

Foster developed the index as part of Building Resilient Regions, a national network of experts on metropolitan regions funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and administered by the University of California, Berkeley. Online at http://brr.berkeley.edu, the index features maps revealing geographic patterns in resilience capacity, detailed data profiles for each metro and a "compare metros" tool.

Overall, Northeastern and Midwestern regions tend to be more resilient than those in the South or West, largely because these regions earn high scores for affordability, the size of their health-insured population, rates of homeownership and metropolitan stability, as measured by recent population change.

For instance, the Buffalo Niagara metro region ranks among the nation's top regions for its metropolitan stability and health-insured population. However, lower rankings on indicators such as income equality, business environment and population without disabilities to some degree offset its assets. This gives the Buffalo Niagara metro region an overall RCI rank of 86, still categorized as high.

Across the three categories of regional capacity, the top-scoring metros are geographically diverse. Raleigh, N.C., with leading technology firms, medical centers and universities, heads the economic category. Ames, Iowa, ranks first for socio-demographic capacity due to its exceptionally high level of educational attainment (Iowa State University is located there). For community connectivity, Bismarck, N.D., scores highest given its critical mass of civic institutions as the state capital.

Metropolitan areas with populations over 1 million vary widely in their resilience capacity. The top-ranking large metropolitan area, Minneapolis-St. Paul, achieves its status with very high socio-demographic capacity and levels of community connection, the latter reflecting the region's No. 1 rank for voter participation. The lowest-ranking large metropolitan area is Miami, Fla., a region with very low regional affordability and income equality.

Foster points out that a region's RCI score is not necessarily a sentence for success or failure in the face of the next population boom, economic recession or industry shutdown.

"What it does tell us is that some regions are structurally more prepared than others, and thus have greater capacity to bounce back in the wake of stress," she said. "Still, regions with a high capacity for resilience can squander their strengths just as those ranked low can rise to the occasion and perform above expectations."

Additional research efforts, a number of which are highlighted on the Building Resilient Regions site, are under way to measure how regions actually respond to stress. Future studies will explore which resilience capacity measures matter most for different kinds of stresses as well as the significance of key governance and environmental factors not captured by the RCI.

A major research and public policy center of UB, the Regional Institute plays a vital role in addressing key policy and governance issues for regions, with focused analysis of the Buffalo Niagara region. The institute leverages the resources of the university and binational community to pursue a wide range of scholarship, projects and initiatives that frame issues, inform decisions and guide change.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University at Buffalo. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University at Buffalo. "'Resilience' of U.S. metros measured by online index developed by researchers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110711104930.htm>.
University at Buffalo. (2011, July 12). 'Resilience' of U.S. metros measured by online index developed by researchers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110711104930.htm
University at Buffalo. "'Resilience' of U.S. metros measured by online index developed by researchers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110711104930.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microsoft Riding High On Strong Surface, Cloud Performance

Microsoft Riding High On Strong Surface, Cloud Performance

Newsy (Oct. 24, 2014) Microsoft's Q3 earnings showed its tablets and cloud services are really hitting their stride. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins