May 2010

Building resilience.

May 22, 2010 11:01 AM
Bronwyn Whyte

Working with what we have.

This project outlined two ways of building resilience. The state of our current food system forces, or will force governments, businesses, community organizations and individuals to evaluate how they can affect change. Many organizations, initiatives and people already exist that are working towards a systemic change to the food system. Yet there remains the need for a more integrated approach to these efforts, as well as the development of new ideas, initiatives, businesses and organizations to further support them. Retrofitting Malls (or Fairview Mall) as FIH’s offers such an approach. It builds on the existing momentum towards a regional food system by increasing services and programs that will be needed to ground the movement. Through the establishment of the FIH’s we are increasing the resiliency of the food system to the shocks of climate change and peak oil, and subsequently providing social, economic and environmental benefits to our communities.

A second area where resilience is increased is in relation to the vitality of malls. Increasingly, we are seeing the demise of malls. It should be noted that in certain circumstances their destruction is warranted (i.e. when they are placed in the middle of nowhere). By all means we do not need thousands of malls. However, there still exists tremendous opportunity to redefine and recreate the purpose of a mall given the appropriate context. Fairview Mall provides a perfect case for redefinition. To build Fairview Malls’ overall resilience to the current trend of “dead” or “dying” malls, FIH are merged into its existing fabric. Fairview Mall and the FIH benefit off the businesses and services of each other; thereby building resilience for both.




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