Resilient Communities and Cities: Strategies to Foster Sustainable Development
Borrowing from ecological theory, resilience refers to the extent to which an ecosystem can respond to, or absorb, a disturbance and still maintain its basic functions and essential relationships (Holling 1973). Resilience here should not be confused with traditional, “equilibrium-driven” definitions of stability, which connotes an ecosystem that endures minimal fluctuation or variability (Lewontin 1969); by contrast, resilient ecosystems may in fact fluctuate considerably.
In the context of communities and cities, we might call these systems resilient if they are able to return to their “normal” state after a shock. These shocks may be either endogenous or exogenous and commonly take one of the following forms: natural disasters, issues of food security, conflict, and radical shifts in demographics (Collier et al. 2013).
Important Dimensions for Resilient Cities
In recent years, a...
I would like to thank Andrew Foley for invaluable research assistantship. I acknowledge the support provided by the Centre for Social Conflict and Cohesion Studies of Chile (CONICYT/FONDAP/15130009).
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