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Challenges and opportunities for building urban resilience

Weichselgartner, J; Kelman, I; (2014) Challenges and opportunities for building urban resilience. A/Z ITU Journal of the Faculty of Architecture , 11 (1) 20 - 35. Green open access

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Abstract

In science, the resilience concept has increasingly been embraced as a framework for disaster-related work. As a result, policy supports 'resilient communities' programs. The current transition from a 'descriptive' scientific concept explaining the state of a system to a 'normative' agenda applied by local authorities faces various challenges. To contribute to the A|Z journal's special issue on Cities at Risk, this paper argues that it is crucial to address and explain these challenges in order to effectively increase resilience. It examines some theoretical foundations and underlying assumptions of the resilience concept and highlights some challenges associated with practical application in urban locations. Most importantly, the chronic needs and root causes of vulnerability will remain unsolved and will continue to generate vulnerable groups as long as efforts to increase resilience ignore the preconditions and root causes of (what is effectively social and political) vulnerability. Building resilience in cities provides opportunities to address under-studied elements, to gain understanding about the historical and socio-political processes that create and maintain social vulnerabilities, and to develop designs capable of identifying options for intervention and leverage points that can move communities toward less vulnerable development pathways.

Type: Article
Title: Challenges and opportunities for building urban resilience
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://www.az.itu.edu.tr/azvol11no1web/05-Weichsel...
Language: English
Keywords: Resilience, vulnerability, cities, urban design, development, spatial planning
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Inst for Risk and Disaster Reduction
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1437000
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