T2.1: Urban Resilience Perspectives and Trade-offs

The general idea of this session is to focus on the tension between green micro infrastructure and the gray macro one. This focus shed light on different case studies in order to understand how these different sides preform, and which one can be used to form our own resilient cities. 

Policy design and capacity building for urban resilience
Marie-Christine Therrien

In her session, Marie-Christine discussed the complexity of translating resilience in the existing government network. She started by looking at policy design and government capacity, How to create the capacity to implement it in efficient manners.by looking into Scales, sectors, and domains. Working with the government is important as she said to avoid the traps in policy design, and create capacity for change. She described what we deal with in government framework as a patchwork effect and for this reason; environmental issues are often built on Instrumentality and have to co-exist with policies that built on complexity and deal with silo effect mentality. On the other Hand, resilience policies and strategies are impeded in broader systems of organizations and tackling multiple issues, transversal multi-organizational polycentric and we try to fit into government where there is no collective strategy. What I found interesting is the effect of Boundary people, Boundary actors” Boundary spanners” who has the responsibility of making the translation between government network and organizations by bringing in the outside world and talking about their world to the outside to alleviate the effect of silos which built on specialization.

Organizations become open to information sharing but they do not know what to do with it so they stay close to decision-making and in this case, the boundary-spanning actor becomes helpful. She continued by saying that coordination happens when organizing units comply with roles, procedures, and policies that are developed in higher levels so it becomes difficult putting up with a polycentric concept such as resilience so integration should be vertical as well as horizontal. Self-organizing capacity need to be brought together by finding a common interest and they must gain legitimacy and trust, boundary spanners are specialist in crossing these structures and merging self-interest with a joint interest in understanding the issues that come together between the boundaries. She concluded by emphasizing on the need to have different skills in order to reach successful network management. She added that Information is more important than authority. When we think for network management for resilience It should not be self-organized, it’s also not designed for collaboration so governments need to learn how to do regular scanning of the network, who’s doing what?

Building bridges between theory and practice: A normative analysis of resilience
Foteini Kalantzi, Kleoniki Pouikli, Dimitra Dihala, Efthimis Katsoras

Foteini Kalantzi began by presenting the dialogue on resilience, first the Interdependence with sustainability where she mentions the arguments around it, where some say sustainability constituent of an integral part of a larger concept of sustainability and other thinks it is a contributing factor to sustainability, while some think it is an improved part of sustainability.

Does she continue asking what kind of resilience? What model to follow? In contemporary cities with big challenges fostering these positive tempted terms as well as the need to a proactive and sometimes corrective definition of resilience with the example of helping vulnerable groups not only to respond to external stress but also empower them to manage future shocks and transitional to normality. Moreover, who will be benefiting from processes and practicing of resilience? Where she points towards the social context where she adds we need to pay attention to justice in relation to decision-making. Another important question she mentioned is, what if going to the original state is undesirable? However, as she mentioned, there is an opportunity to create a new paradigm by the effort to answer these questions, which are interconnected. Some believes that resilience theory does not adequately address critical power, voice, and equity .also the effect of neoliberal agenda. On the other hand, the criticism is reproducing unevenness jeopardize future social development and functionality, therefore, strategies for resilience cities should include less privileged group as well as the most affected in times of crisis. She also says that self-resilience might substitute accountable government.

Finally, Normative analysis of resistance directed with the question of whose environment and livelihood the city protects and why? On the legal part, Kleoniki Pouikli described the exciting traditional structure of legal framework as binding, rigid and linear. On the other hand, resilience system characteristics are absorptive capacity, adaptive and transformative Incorporate, for this reason, the requirement of resilience in predetermined legal construction is a concept she mentions “additive law governance”. In order to transfer these feature into practice, there should be a balance between adaptability requirement for resilience and stability requirement for the law. In the end, she mentioned three examples from Europe, which are environmental assessment procedure, Secular economy package, the water law, but time was not enough to go into details. However, they are new and the face of implementation.

Criteria for urban resilience assessment: Building indicators for the CDMX resilience strategy
Carlos Alonso Muñoz

Alonso talk was based on his master thesis in his master thesis; he provided a background about Mexico City, the potentials and challenges the city face. Mexico City is part of 100 resilient cities since 2013 and they built in 2016 a strategy for resilience and by 2017 they created an entity called resilience agency which responsible for implementing the strategy. People from different sectors like academia, NGOs, the private sector and official authorities developed the resilience strategy. So why they need to measure urban resilience:

  • Raise awareness
  • Allocate resources in transparent manners 
  • Build resilience and manage challenges 
  • Watch the performances to see the effectiveness of resilience.

By analyzing the social urban design assessment of national council and social development policy assessment he got the following result, first the structure, which is five pillars, seventeen goals forty four actions and more than one hundred twenty activities. From fostering regional coordination too water security and improve mobility. The problems they faced were lack of defining target and indicators add to that, no consolidated budget to implement the strategy. Build resilience frameworks, in his research he created three faces, review resilience assessment frameworks, analyses the challenge of coordination and allocation of resources and incorporate the urban resilience measurement which is mentioned before. The selection of the criteria was after a workshop with specialist in Mexico City, from twenty-five criteria they finalized nine (adaptability, coordination, capacity, diversity, efficiency, inclusion, flexibility, redundancy, and resourcefulness). The next step was to develop an urban resilience framework and built indicators of performance impact adaptive and adaptive transformation.

After that he mentioned the model, he designed for the resilience strategy in Mexico City where he tried to adapt the different kind of indicators to each one of the structural elements of the strategy. Action and activities, the impact indicators, the adaptive transformation indicators, and resilience criteria. In the end, he mentioned a case study of housing project with water scarcity. They used in this activity the definition of the indicators, the data and the calculation methods. He conclude , Mexico City Is trying to adopt implementation of 100 resilient cities by using the assessment and by designing an urban framework. However, the resilience agency disappeared because the new government by replacing it with a risk reduction approach, on the other hand he believes academia even without the government entity should continue study this Indicators for their importance to create transparency and measure goals.

A participatory systems approach to identify and quantify climate adaptation trade-offs
Marta Olazabal

In this talk, Marta presented a case study to show usage of cognitive mapping with a participatory approach in Madrid with the goal of identifying and quantifying climate adaption trade-offs. In the beginning, she says that resilience is about innovation of the ways of doing and moving some action from one context to the other. In order to identify resilience, we need to build up a wide range of scenarios, what will happen on the sustainability in the whole city? Problems that might affect results is our bias and knowledge, she highlights that by saying from the moment we define a problem we introduce a bias. Another thing is our limited capacity to predict the future and to identify direct consequence.

She used for her study the Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping (FCM), a quantitative mapping tool account for a different perspective from different stakeholders and present them in a signal map. It is a participatory methodology, based on culture network and cause-effect relations, which allows scenario building. They started by asking stakeholder to make a list of elements that plays a role in the system later they add arrows to identify relations and then make positive and negative sign to this concepts later they assign Wight  “numbers” .Question they asked

Where the impact of heat waves in the city of Madrid?  What are the potential adaptation options? They had face-to-face interviews with twenty-two participant where half of them were researchers and the other half were decision makers. In the end they collected these divers’ maps and make it a single map, the final map has 300 connections. They create different scenarios for heat waves by increase the level of activation of one concept For example; green infrastructure in order to see what is the effect on the rest of the element in the system. They run scenarios taking only into account decisions makers map and another map taking only into account researcher’s map. In the end ,Some result were not surprising while others were surprising for example the effect of green infrastructures on heat waves was good for the climate and other factors  but it was not sustainable economically because of the high maintenance cost  and it causes allergies for some residents.

To conclude, participatory system approach is useful to take into account systemic interactions and it is based on an experience of stakeholder to learn from the past and to convey what is now and to identify what is the consequence of resilience management.

Tradeoffs between regulating and cultural services as a potential source of hazard risk in urban areas
Yaella Depietri, Daniel Orenstein

Yealla presented a case study of a wildfire in the Mediterranean area. She states that the risk of fire is increasing because of the increased exposure of building and people to these fire by city expansion. The literature review was around Social construction of risk. in addition, they studied potential conflict through the lens of ecosystem framework in particular culture and regulative services. She said that most of the literature looking at the provision of culture and regulative services and other trade-offs was not explored so what they wanted to do is analyzing how tradeoffs can increase risks in the city of Haifa. Moreover, the potential synergies that might reduce fire risks. Later she provided a background about the city where it is a city is on a top of a mountain surrounded with wadis “valleys” and surrounded with undeveloped green areas. 

The problems that this area has many potential recreational activities but the city is expanding close to the forest and there was a fir in 2016 affected the urban area. The fire expanded fast because of some kinds of trees the other hand some areas were not easy to excess by firefighters. They analyzed tradeoffs by a tool called scribble maps and they did interviews with fire experts to map the risk areas. Users of the green areas to map the areas, which were interesting for recreational activities, and they ask them Why they used this area and how Strategies will affect their experience? People stress how they enjoy the fact that they are close to nature. There are tradeoffs that people in Haifa are not willing to except some strategies like firebreaks and buffers. Solutions to tradeoff are replacing pine trees with other taller and less flammable trees. In addition, building buffers around the urban area with trails and picnic areas finally, putting sensors for smoke and heat detection. To conclude, tradeoffs between culture and regulation service can lead to conflict and thus be a source of hazard in urban areas and reducing resilience.