VIEWPOINTS

This section aims to introduce different perspectives on urban resilience in theory and practices, in order to help framing good research questions. A variety of scholars from different fields will publish here short essays addressing the most critical challenges for urban resilience research, and these will be complemented with viewpoints from practitioners and organizations which are dealing with the challenges of operationalizing and managing resilient cities from the ground. We hope this helps you in addressing the most pressing research gaps, and in alligning those with current and future needs of urban settlements

The Fallacy of the UNpossible

Guest authors: Thomas P. Seager, Lucien Hollins, and Marcus Snell In the popular US cartoon television series The Simpsons, there is a brief scene in which one of the child characters is placed on academic probation.  His response is, “Me, fail English?  That’s unpossible!”  As viewers, it strikes us as ridiculous to witness a character

The Pillars of Disaster Resilience and Community Engagement

Guest author: Prof. Edward Blakely On April the 6th, 2017 Prof. Edward Blakely, the Former Recovery Director Post-Katrina floods in New Orleans, has been invited to deliver a keynote speech held at the Gran Sasso Science Institute, on the occasion of the 8th Anniversary of the earthquake which almost destroyed L’Aquila, one of the biggest

THE CRITICAL RESILIENCE OF THE RESIDUALS

Author: Dr. Geoffrey DeVerteuil School of Geography and Planning, Cardiff University UK Resilience has proven to be a popular yet vexatious concept of late in urban studies and urban geography. Criticisms are many – that it props up the status quo, in this case an inequitable neoliberal order; that it casts off needy people and

The Resilience Machine

Guest authors: Prof. Simin Davoudi1, 2, Prof. Jim Bohland1, Prof. Paul Knox1 and Dr. Jennifer Lawrence1 1Global Forum on Urban and Regional Resilience at Virginia Tech and 2Newcastle University In 2012, the headline in a New York Times article suggested that we should “Forget sustainability” because “It’s about resilience”, indicating a shift of emphasis to

A Social-Ecological Research Lens on Urban Resilience

Guest author: Stephan Barthel (University of Gävle, Stockholm University and Stockholm Resilience Centre) Social-Ecological Research has approached the city as a living ecosystem, an approach that really begun with the urban scholars of the early 1900s. But new developments in this line of research started during the 1990s to study various social-ecological relations in a

Rethinking everyday resilience in the built environment of the city

guest author: Prof. Stefan Bouzarovski (University of Manchester) Adaptive capacity and resilience are now seen as desirable qualities for a wide range of social actors and dynamics: from individuals coping with personal stress, to cities that may be vulnerable to disaster or terrorist attack. Resilience has assumed a normative character, entering the vocabulary of decision-making

United we fall, divided we stand: Resilience and the role of interdependence

Author: Prof. Shade T. Shutter (Arizona State University) As Ian Kelman previously wrote here, Resilience can mean almost anything.  And yet its presence in the scientific literature has undergone an explosive growth, with resilience-themed listings in the Web of Science increasing by over 1,000% between 2000 and 2010.  Among practitioners the subject is also en

How can urban resilience networks cater to city needs?

Guest Authors: Dr. Sebastiaan van Herk 1,2, Carolina Hollmann1 and Prof. Chris Zevenbergen2 1 – Bax & Willems 2- UNESCO-IHE With climate change mitigation and adaptation increasingly present on the urban agenda, many local governments aim to increase resilience of residents and businesses, but have multiple challenges in operationalizing this generic concept: finding appropriate solutions,

How resilient is resilience?

Guest Author: Prof.  Ilan Kelman (University College London) So much has been written about ‘resilience’ that it could mean almost anything. How useful (or not) is resilience for people affected by development concerns such as disaster risk, including climate change challenges and opportunities? Let’s head out to an affected community. After all, they need resilience

Operationalising the Generational Challenge of Holistic Urban Resilience

Guest Author: Prof.  Jon Coaffee (University of Warwick) This century, more than any other, is the century of the city, where rapid urbanisation and greater global connectedness present unprecedented urban challenges. Such increased urbanisation also concentrates risk in cities making them increasingly vulnerable to an array of shocks and stresses. Under such circumstances, city managers