T4.6: Resilience Observatories and Labs

In the session of resilience observatories and labs, resilience has been framed as bringing in sustainable solutions to complex social and environmental challenges. Resilience articulates inclusivity, holistic approach, multi-sectoral alliances, and connections to policy-makers and to the public, co-production and cooperation.

Building resilience has been argued as intersection of set of activities such as research, networking and communication & dissemination, mapping, co-production and training.  Nexus between socio-ecological-technical systems can be used as a new methodology to reframe resilience.  Application of innovative tools for incorporating local knowledge in resilience planning, bridging up the gap between theory and practice in urban resilience.

The role of observatories and labs in building resilience through knowledge creation, strategic research, mainstreaming climate change and environmental sustainability issues in decision making process have been discussed in this session. The authors have tried to justify their argument based on evidence based research outcomes and case studies from different part of the world. The presenters highlighted, how synergies between different cross cutting issues can be used as a new methodology to reframe resilience.  Application of innovative tools for incorporating local knowledge in resilience planning, bridging up the gap between theory and practice in urban resilience research have been emphasized in the discourses of this session. All the authors have emphasized the necessity of critical understanding of the SETS, because we have to enhance the adaptive capacity of SETS in order to build the resilience of a city. For which, community engagement, stakeholder mapping and participation are the essential tool.  

Advancing research and policy for sustainability: a framework for urban observatories
Patrick Bixler

Dr. Patrick Bixler has discussed about the Texas Metropolitan Observatories initiatives which have been started in this year and is part of Planet Texas 2050, a University of Texas-Austin grand challenges initiative. The project looks into climate change and urbanization process and its relation to water, energy and eco system services. It aims to bridge up the data gap towards the mitigation of the consequences of urbanization and climate change and working with Texas advancing computer station which is one of the super computers in the US to do the data integration model.  The project analyzes the historical dynamics of the texas metro region, current condition of the metro region, the implications of historic trends for the future and eventually shaping a sustainable and resilient future for Texas Metro Region. The key activities under this project have been planned are building blocks on big data, trans-disciplinary research, and Social-ecological-technical systems.  Adding these three building blocks, the derived principles are holistic framework, trans disciplinary approach, equity and transparency and creating an innovative platform. The project also aims to create a communication platform for dissemination and knowledge sharing purpose. It has been envisaged that Texas Metropolitan Observatories initiatives will facilitate the researchers, policymakers, public agencies, NGOs, Nonprofit and philanthropy organizations, general public in building resilience and sustainable cities.

Real-World Labs for co-producing Urban Resilience
Michael Ziehl

Mr. Michael Ziehl, in his ‘Real- World Labs for co-producing Urban Resilience’ paper has highlighted how active citizen involvement increases the resilience of various social–ecological–technical/built system (SETS) of urban systems. He has emphasized on adopting new instruments for cooperation that support citizens and municipalities to co-produce urban resilience. He has argued that application of real-world-labs can actually provide a framework to bridge theory and practice in urban resilience research. In his research, he used the Gängeviertel in Hamburg, a 13 storied building which is now developed by the City of Hamburg in cooperation with citizen organizations to create apartments, studios, workshops and a sociocultural center, as a real-world-lab. He has illustrated the applied research method and presents recommendations for action to coproduce urban resilience in his paper. He has pointed out that real world lab can be categorized into system knowledge the path of functionality in urban system, objective and orientation knowledge, transformation knowledge. To adopt the coproduction concept, researchers have to consider problem analysis, recent development, external values and ultimately learning. He has taken attempt to justify that co-producing urban resilience is possible through creating trust and appreciation, improving  collaborations, legitimizing exceptions of administrative regulations, deriving models for co-management practices, transforming planning practice towards higher adaptability.

[Eco]systems of resilience practices: a reframing from the Experience of Italian Resilience Practices Observatory
Angela Colucci, Giulia Pesaro

Ms. Angela Colucci and colleageu have illustrated the activities of the Resilience Practices Observatory (RPO) for the enhancement of territorial resilience through the strengthening of resilience practices in her ‘[Eco] systems of resilience practices: a reframing from the Experience of Italian Resilience Practices Observatory’ paper. RPO takes incremental and adaptive approach by integrating different aspects such as mapping resilience practices at national level, tools for resilience, resilience thinking or cultural path and actors of resilience or the networking path. She has presented how different cross cutting issues such as governance, knowledge co-production and economy are crucial in enhancing the feasibility and the stabilization of resilience practices and in contributing to social and territorial resilience in the long-run. She has discussed about some tools, methodologies, framework which corroborate her main argument – trajectories for the improvement of resilience practices and policies to guarantee systemic and synergic benefits in resilience capabilities enhancement of complex territorial systems. In order to create such framework, she has also illustrated the processes such as integration of economic and financial components in the projects, capacity building and awareness on governance to reach a stabilization & synergies, enhancing alliances between sectors and actors and involvement of stakeholders in governance system, public private cooperation.

Local knowledge mobilization: The potential for participatory GIS and photovoice methods as community resilience strategies
Holly Campbell, Allison Koornneef

‘Local knowledge mobilization: The potential for participatory GIS and photovoice methods as community resilience strategies’ was part of a larger research by Ms. Holly Cambel on Climate Change Adaptation in rural communities in Northern Saskatchewan, Canada, with the goal to inform more inclusive policy making and governance practices. In her research, she has argued on why understanding the needs, the contexts, the social capital and the interests at play within communities are important in resilience planning and implementation. To support her argument, she has given example of Wollaston lake fire. According to Ms. Campbel, when disaster strikes, external actors (technicians, city planners, policy makers, government officials, emergency management) can either foster or inhibit community resilience. So, how can external actors integrate local knowledge into risk assessment in order to foster community resilience? Therefore, she has come up with two participatory research methods such as PGIS and Photovoice methods and argued that these tools can be used for mobilizing community knowledge in the development of resilience capacity and also making the resilience strategy more inclusive and equitable. These participatory and qualitative research methods will be utilized for increasing community resilience through the information gained and process itself. Photovoice will facilitate to gain information on food insecurity, water and sanitation, environmental justice and public health etc., whereas PGIS on community health, indigenous self-representation, land management etc. She believes that participatory research methods for informing urban resilience strategies will bridge the gap between broader development agendas and social needs.

Creative Destruction and Social Innovation dynamics comparison: San Juan, Puerto-Rico (US) and Barcelona.
Rafael De Balanzo Joue, Nuria Rodriguez-Planas, Gustavo Garcia Lopez, Marina Moscoso

Mr. Rafael, in his paper ‘Creative Destruction and Social Innovation dynamics comparison: San Juan, Puerto-Rico (US) and Barcelona’ has tried to stress on resilience thinking approach” for urban dynamics analysis; urban crisis and reorganization back-loop; adaptive cycle & panarchy barcelona and san juan, puerto-rico comparison and bottom-up urban collective social innovation & community resilience. He has used the methodologies and tools developed by the resilient thinking concept to conduct and compare two parallel SES dynamics and their evolution using empirical case studies such as the city of San Juan, Puerto-Rico, US and Barcelona, Spain after systemic crisis. He has pointed out that cities are complex adaptive system such as Natural, Human and Technical. All have an evolutionary dynamic which arrives with a change, collapse or crisis. After a period of growth, there is always a decrease and innovation. He has used a mathematical analysis model to present the urban dynamics analysis. He has undertaken a historical data analysis from 1970 to 2010 for both Barcelona and San Juan city and justified the similar growth, real estate development as well as tourism development, later crisis such as vulnerable building, social crisis. The process and trend are pretty much similar in both the cities.  Further, he has presented the similar collective social innovation & entrepeneurship transformational initiatives in both the cities, such as citizen engagement and collective action from diverse socials network, promoting community collective action/ self-building urban furniture, promoting cooperative entrepreneurship and local economy initiatives, bottom-up mapping workshops and urban participatory process. Promoting resilience thinking approach for/by stakeholders, Mr Rafael has concluded saying that bring to light the relevance of the intra- and cross-scales between the city’s institutional networks, the local neighborhoods, and urban social movements, in achieving sustainable development planning, understand current and future local community vulnerabilities.