Calamity: Why are some communities burnished while others burn?

Heimay, Iceland, was nearly destroyed by a volcanic explosion above it, more than four decades ago. Residents not only prevailed, but benefitted from the devastation, writes Johanna Hoffman.  Photo by kitniederer via Flickr, Creative Commons

Heimay, Iceland, was nearly destroyed by a volcanic explosion above it, more than four decades ago. Residents not only prevailed, but benefitted from the devastation, writes Johanna Hoffman. Photo by kitniederer via Flickr, Creative Commons

Why do some communities collapse amid calamity — while others thrive? Why are some burnished, and others burned? Iceland offers lessons for all in troubled times.

American architect Johanna Hoffman investigates in Survival Lessons in Iceland’s Resilience. An excerpt:

HEIMAY, Iceland – The grassy slopes above this small Icelandic fishing town exploded with lava and ash 41 years ago. Rolling meadows erupted into a raw volcano and columns of 2,000º molten rock burst from the Earth. The surprise five-month eruption nearly destroyed the town. Yet residents found ways to not only return but benefit from the devastation. That Heimay’s townspeople bounced back with speed and agility is no accident. For Icelanders, long tested by fire and ice, resiliency to environmental change is par for the course.  … continue reading Survival Lessons in Iceland’s Resilience. (no charge*)

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This entry was posted in Current Affairs.