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Is Connectivity a Desirable Property in Urban Resilience Assessments?

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Resilience-Oriented Urban Planning

Part of the book series: Lecture Notes in Energy ((LNEN,volume 65))


The need to look at environmental-related problems from a systemic perspective has been increasingly highlighted in current scientific literature. Especially in a context of climate change uncertainty, it is helpful to identify interdependencies and cascading impacts that might happen under certain management or policy scenarios. In the context of resilience management and given the inherent complexity of cities, this becomes especially relevant if one considers potential trade-offs or perverse transformability interventions that may have negative impacts on environmental quality, social equity or well-being. The network perspective in resilience theory has been argued to be useful to assess system’s robustness, connectivity and dependency. Connectivity as a characteristic of the system, has been particularly presented as a determinant of urban resilience in the literature, but, so far and to our knowledge, no study has presented empirical evidence on this regard. To contribute to this debate, this chapter uses a case study on urban energy resilience in the city of Bilbao (Spain) to illustrate the role of connectivity in an urban system and its positive and negative effects on resilience and transformability. Main findings point out the context-specific nature of this property of the system and the difficulty of establishing a normative desirable trend.

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Marta Olazabal acknowledges funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 653522 (RESIN—Climate Resilient Cities and Infrastructures project). Marta Olazabal holds a fellowship by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO) (grant no. FPDI-2013-16631). The authors also acknowledge support from the National Institute for Environmental Studies.

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Correspondence to Marta Olazabal .

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Olazabal, M., Chelleri, L., Sharifi, A. (2018). Is Connectivity a Desirable Property in Urban Resilience Assessments?. In: Yamagata, Y., Sharifi, A. (eds) Resilience-Oriented Urban Planning. Lecture Notes in Energy, vol 65. Springer, Cham.

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  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-75797-1

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-319-75798-8

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