Four PhD students from very different backgrounds, institutes, and countries found themselves debating why they had such different perspectives on urban resilience during the International Resilience Conference (Arizona State University, March 2011).
A few months later, one of them proposed that they organize an international workshop in order to address the various meanings and perspectives of resilience thinking as applied to urban systems and set a common research framework. In November 2011, they held the First International Workshop on Urban Resilience in Barcelona, and based on its success they edited a book and launched a network of researchers interested in this discussion.
In 2012 the first book entitled “Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Urban Resilience” was published and the Urban Resilience Research Network blog was launched.
Thanks to more than 5k downloads of their book in the first year alone, and the growing number of mailing list members from across the globe, in 2016 a new website for the Urban Resilience Research Network was launched. The website now includes contributions from top scholars who offer critical perspectives on the most urgent and challenging aspects of urban resilience theory and practice.
However, we see this as only the beginning. We are always looking for new scholars to contribute to our blog and urban resilience research advances.
The aim of this network is to support researchers (of any kind, with different concerns) in dealing with the complexity of framing and operationalising urban resilience, avoiding its increasingly mainstream simplistic, metaphorical use.
Originally rooted in ecology, engineering, or social sciences, resilience has never had a clear meaning when applied to urban systems. Urban resilience research is increasingly critiqued for its failure to address social justice, sustainability, and broader or integrated perspectives. The mission of this network is to offer a new and multidisciplinary set of perspectives on urban resilience and to identify challenging and necessary research questions that can help to address the gaps and needs in this emerging research area, with the final aim to support cities in their quest towards more sustainable, safe and inclusive pathways.
We provide this website and the associated mailing list as a tool to facilitate this goal.