Economic Resilience

The economic security of a place and its people is directly connected to the ability to prevent, survive, and recover quickly from major economic and social disruptions. Establishing economic resiliency in a local or regional economy requires communities to identity the “shocks” and “stresses” that are or could potentially be considered a risk, evaluate how those risks may impact the economy and its residents, and build a responsive capacity.


“Shocks are time-bound acute events that can significantly impact a city. Stresses are chronic conditions that weaken the fabric of a city over time -- whether it’s on a day-to-day or cyclical basis (Resilient Louisville, 2017).” In 2017 Louisville was selected as a member city in the 100 Resilient Cities Network. Although the program has ended, The Rockefeller Foundation announced an $8 million commitment to continue supporting the work of Chief Resilience Officers and member cities within the 100RC Network. This new funding will enable a new project to continue supporting the implementation of resilience initiatives incubated through the work of 100RC. A Resilient Louisville Agenda Setting Workshop took place in January 2017 and gathered stakeholders from all sectors of the community to help develop a resilience strategy. Workshop attendants identified the following shocks and stresses for the city: (1)

  • Severe Weather 

  • Economic Crisis/Industry Collapse/Market Crash

  • Infrastructure Failure

  • Riot/Civil Unrest



  • Poverty/Inequality/Lack of Inclusiveness

  • Poor Population Health/Wellbeing

  • Low Performance Education Systems

  • Aging Infrastructure

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) states that “CEDS provides a critical mechanism to help identify regional vulnerabilities and prevent and/or respond to economic disruptions. Therefore, embracing economic resilience must be a key component of the CEDS document.”

The EDA recommends integrating resilience into the CEDS using a two-pronged approach:


  • Planning for and implementing resilience through specific goals or actions to bolster the long-term economic durability of the region (steady-state).

  • Establishing information networks among the various stakeholders in the region to encourage active and regular communications between the public, private, education, and non-profit sectors to collaborate on existing and potential future challenges (responsive).

Steady-state Initiatives


  •  Continue comprehensive planning efforts throughout the region and coordinate the integration of existing hazard mitigation and resilience plans-KIPDA Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan 2016, Louisville Hazard Mitigation Plan, Resilient Louisville. 

  • Build and support a better workforce that has the ability to adapt to employment and industry shifts.

  • Diversify the economic base and target industries that build on the region’s strengths and provide quality jobs that will help to close the economic gaps that exist within the region.

  • Target socially and economic depressed areas for increased business and resource development including transit, education, and health care.

  • Continue to promote underutilized commercial and industrial sites through GIS related databases-Think Kentucky, LOGIC.

  • Employ safe and sustainable development practices that are inclusive and equitable. Strategies may include preventing development in floodplains, preserving natural lands, increasing the tree canopy, integrating green infrastructure, improving air quality and protecting all vulnerable neighborhoods from the impacts of extreme weather.

Responsive initiatives

  • Use the "100 Resilient Cities" Project as a model for resiliency in the counties throughout the region.

  • Increase collaboration between all stakeholders within the region and create a regional community plan that targets resiliency efforts on economic, social, and environmental risks.

  • Establish a communication network between key local, regional, state, and federal officials to coordinate impact assessments, integrate recovery plans and needs, and identify responsible entities.

  • Establish a program to help businesses with preparedness efforts and post-disruption recovery. 

The CEDS survey respondents were asked how the region could better plan for economic resilience; responses included diversification of the economy, growing local small/midsized businesses, development of a regional community resilience plan, and encouraging full community involvement. Additionally, strategic target sectors were identified where investments need to be made to strengthen local business and create a diverse economy. The target sectors were:






Professional Scientific   Technical


1. The Resilient Louisville Report can be viewed at

© Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy 2018-2023 by KIPDA