urban sustainability & resilience

A blog about governance for urban sustainability and resilience

Urban resilience conceptualisations and policies: A review of the literature

Not long ago, we published an extensive review of the academic literature on urban resilience conceptualisations and policies in Nature’s open-access journal Palgrave Communications:

Adriana Sanchez, Jeroen van der Heijden, and Paul Osmond (2018) “The City Politics of the Urban Age: A Literature Review of Urban Resilience Conceptualisations and Policies”Palgrave Communications, 4(The Politics of an Urban Age collection), article 25.

Brief summary

Around the globe, cities seek to improve their resilience to face the stresses and shocks that are expected from global climate change and other threats. In implementing urban resilience policies, they are guided by different urban resilience conceptualisations. What is meant by the concept differs between scholars, governments, as well as international organisations that seek to study, advise on and implement urban resilience policies and governance interventions. This article presents a review of the urban resilience literature since the 1970s. It seeks to map and interrogate dominant urban resilience conceptualisations, and decipher whether and how different understandings of the concept can result in essentially different policies and governance interventions and outcomes. In contrasting the ‘what’ of urban resilience (various conceptualisations) with the ‘why’ of urban resilience policy (bouncing back, falling forwards, persistence) it investigates approaches to overcome some of the key critiques to urban resilience policy and research.


Translation in Japanese

In September 2018, the Resilience Research Council of Japan has republished this article as:

都市時代の都市政策: 都市レジリエンスの概念と政策

世界中の諸都市は、地球規模の気候変動や予想 される各種の脅威、ストレス及び衝撃に対するレジリエ ン ス の強化を模索 している 。「都市 レジ リエン ス(urban resilience)」諸政策の履行にあたり、関係者 は概念化された様々な都市レジリエンスから各種の指 標を得ている。その概念化の意味するところは、都市レジリエンス 政策及びガバナンス(自主的統治方法)介入について、研究・助言・実行を目指す国際諸組織間で必ずし も一つではない。 本稿は 1970 年以降の都市レジリエンスの論文を検 討した結果を著者らなりにまとめ、都市レジリエンス概 念化の主な政策立案過程と、立案のためのデータ情 報取得方法を明らかにすることを試みている。異なる 理解による概念が、本質的に異なる結果(政策やガバ ナンス介入)になることがあるのか、あるならばなぜか、 を読み解くことを目指している。 また、都市レジリエンスの「何」を、政策の「何故」と 対比して、都市レジリエンスの政策立案と研究の鍵と なる批評を克服するための方法も吟味している。


Translation in Korean

We are currently working on a Korean translation as part of a keynote I will give at the ‘International Urban Resilience Forum Seoul 2019’. This conference which will be held on September 23-24, 2019 in Seoul and is co-hosted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government and UNDRR(United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction).

Once the translation is available, it will be accessible from this website.


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This entry was posted on August 15, 2019 by in Urban sustainability and resilience.


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