Conceptual Overview of Resilience: History and Context

  • Tuna Taşan-Kok
  • Dominic Stead
  • Peiwen Lu
Part of the GeoJournal Library book series (GEJL, volume 106)


This chapter aims to explore the historical roots of the concept of resilience in the context of urban planning. The simplest definition of resilience in this case is the capacity of a system to undergo change and still retain its basic function and structure after facing an external disturbance. In other words, it has the capacity to change into a different system regime without crossing a certain threshold. This basic definition has its roots in applied sciences. In engineering, for instance, resilience refers to the capacity of a structure to withstand an impact without being permanently deformed (Callister 2000) while, in ecology, resilience is defined as the amount of disturbance that an ecosystem can withstand without changing its self-organised processes and structures (Holling 1973). Resilience has been used in wide range of areas, such as ecology, environmental and social sustainability, environmental sciences, hazard planning, ecosystem management, and even in supply chain risk research.


Social Capital Urban Planning Spatial Planning Urban System Resilient Community 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.OTB Research Institute for the Built EnvironmentDelft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Faculty of ArchitectureDelft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands

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