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Resilience-Oriented Urban Planning



The concept of resilience is increasingly used in scientific and political discourses on sustainable urban development and urban disaster risk reduction. It has its roots in disciplines such as physics, psychology and ecology and is a relatively new concept in the field of urban planning. This chapter aims to explore the implications of integrating resilience thinking into urban planning. It introduces the concept of resilience-oriented urban planning and discusses how it is distinct from conventional urban planning. Extending the theory of adaptive cycle, it is argued that urban planning should not be considered as a static process. Urban systems are dynamic entities characterized by non-equilibrium dynamics and constantly go through the four phases of ‘exploitation’, ‘conservation’, ‘release’, and ‘reorganization’. Resilience-oriented planning is needed to address dynamics and complexities of urban systems. This chapter provides discussions on paradigm shifts that are needed to integrate resilience thinking into urban planning. These paradigm shifts are discussed in the context of different planning themes, namely, strategy making and visioning, public participation, equity and empowerment, learning from traditional local knowledge, institutional reforms, social networks, sectoral and spatio-temporal dynamics, land use planning, and urban infrastructure. The chapter concludes with some discussions on how these paradigm shifts contribute to integrating principles that underpin the concept of resilience into urban planning and design.
Chapter 1
Resilience-Oriented Urban Planning
Ayyoob Shariand Yoshiki Yamagata
1.1 Introduction
Cities across the world are increasingly exposed to a wide variety of risks. Many of
these risks are environmental (e.g. extreme weather events, water shortage and
pressure on other natural resources, biodiversity loss, failure of climate change
mitigation and adaptation, etc.) (WEF 2017). Climate change and environment-
related risks are tightly interconnected with other risks and, since 2011, have often
been ranked among the top ve global risks in terms of both impact and likelihood
(WEF 2017). Many cities, especially coastal cities, are susceptible to climate
change and environment-related risks and hazards (Boyd and Juhola 2015). The
frequency and intensity of these risks is expected to increase as climate change
continues. Climate change and its impacts may have signicant ramications for the
effective management of cities which are engines of economic growth (accounting
for over 80% of global GDP) and are expected to host about 66% of global
population by 2050 (WB 2015). Based on low estimates, current global average
annual losses in cities are about USD 314 billion. Unless cities around the world
take appropriate actions to enhance their resilience, this gure may rise to USD 415
billion and even higher (if losses from knock-on effects such as mass human
migrations, conicts, pollution, epidemics, economic collapse, etc. are also
considered) by 2030 (WB 2015).
The concept of resilience is increasingly used as an organizing principle to frame
scientic and political discourses on cities. Its importance has been emphasized in
United Nations (UN) documents related to cities. In the newly adopted New Urban
Agenda a wide range of stakeholders, across multiple scales, make commitments to
A. Shari(&)Y. Yamagata
Global Carbon ProjectTsukuba International Ofce, National Institute
for Environmental Studies, 16-2 Onogawa, Tsukuba,
Ibaraki Prefecture 305-8506, Japan
©Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018
Y. Yamagata and A. Shari(eds.), Resilience-Oriented Urban Planning,
Lecture Notes in Energy 65,
develop policies, programs, plans, and actions for building urban resilience
(Habitat_III 2016). The importance of building urban resilience is also echoed in
the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): SDG 11 asserts that cities should
adopt plans to build their resilience in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster
Risk Reduction 20152030; SDG 9 is focused on developing resilient infrastructure
to support sustainable development (UNSDG 2015).
Integrating resilience thinking into urban planning and design is essential for
building urban resilience. The signicance of achieving such integration is
emphasized in many policy documents such as the Hyogo Framework for Action
20052015, and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 20152030.
For several decades, resilience has been a popular subject in eld such as physics,
ecology, and psychology. It is, however, a comparatively new concept in the eld
of urban planning and design and was introduced about two decades ago (Shari
and Yamagata 2016). Since the turn of the century, resilience has received
increasing attention within the eld of urban planning and design. This can be
attributed to the fact that, as mentioned above, cities around the world are, more
than ever, facing the impacts of a board range of hazards.
Despite efforts to integrate resilience thinking into urban planning [e.g. see
(Wilkinson 2012a,b)], there is still no consensus on the implications of resilience
thinking for urban planning theory and practice (Shariet al. 2017). This chapter
aims to shed more light on this issue by analyzing literature on urban resilience and
discussing how resilience can be used to provide the planning theory and practice
with new conceptual grounds. It elaborates on the main components and principles
of the resilience concept that should be incorporated into the theory and practice of
urban planning and discusses paradigm shifts that should occur during the inte-
gration process.
This chapter is organized as follows: Next section provides a brief literature
review on the resilience concept and its underlying principles. In Sect. 1.3 impli-
cations of these principles for urban planning are discussed. Section 1.4 concludes
the chapter by providing suggestions for future research.
1.2 Resilience and Its Underlying Principles
Resilience is a polysemic concept that has been interpreted in a variety of ways
within and across disciplines (Norris et al. 2008). Groups with different research
and policy interests provide different interpretations of the resilience concept and
use it to frame and conceptualize their own agenda. Some may use resilience in the
context of climate change adaptation and mitigation, while others utilize it in the
context of human development, disaster risk reduction, and international develop-
ment (Lu and Stead 2013). As mentioned earlier, the concept of resilience has its
roots in disciplines such as physics and psychology. Originally, it was used to
measure the capacity of systems, objects, or individuals to survive disruptions by
maintaining acceptable levels of functionality and returning to pre-disruption levels
4 A. Shariand Y. Yamagata
of functioning in a timely manner (Shariand Yamagata 2016). This could be
considered as an equilibrium approach to dening resilience and was the dominant
approach until concepts such as ecological resilience and adaptive resilience were
introduced in the second half of the twentieth century (Gunderson and Holling
2002). The single-equilibrium theory was challenged by the emergence of these
new concepts that introduced multiple-equilibrium and non-equilibrium approaches
to resilience.
Planning scholars have mainly borrowed the concept of resilience from ecology.
Three major approaches to dening urban resilience can be distinguished in the
literature. These are, namely, engineering resilience, ecological resilience, and
adaptive resilience. Engineering resilience theories emphasize minimizing vulner-
ability to disasters by enhancing resistance and robustness of the physical infras-
tructure. Based on this interpretation of resilience, disruptions and disasters can, to a
large extent, be predicted and prevented. In other words, cities and their infras-
tructures should be fail-safe (Ahern 2011; Shariand Yamagata 2016). If stressors
exceed the safety thresholds and the system (or parts of it) experience failure,
engineering resilience will enable rapid recovery to pre-disruption conditions
(equilibrium). Reliance on engineering methods for building urban resilience may,
however, give planners and decision makers a false sense of security.
Extending the theory of adaptive cycle (that was originally developed to
understand ecosystem complexities and dynamics) to the urban system (as a
social-ecological system), it can be argued that cities and infrastructures regularly
go through the four phases of exploitation(r), conservation(k), release(X), and
reorganization(a) (see Fig. 1.1) (Gunderson and Holling 2002). Transition from
the exploitation to the conservation phase takes place over a considerably long time
period during which changes occur slowly and the system is relatively predictable.
However, shift from the release to the reorganization phase often represents a short
period of chaotic change and high uncertainty. This alternation between long
periods of normal functioning, slow change, and relative stability and briefer
periods of chaotic change (due to cumulative accumulation of small-scale events
that can lead to major transformations over time) and sudden increase in unpre-
dictability might result in occasional exceedance of critical limits of (urban) systems
(Gunderson and Holling 2002). Under such circumstances, overreliance on engi-
neering resilience and system robustness may result in irreversible changes and
cause signicant loss in system performance.
Ecological resilience entails a more dynamic and exible approach that recog-
nizes inadequacy of resistance and robustness characteristics for building urban
resilience. It promotes building safety margins into the design of the system in order
to absorb initial shocks, retain functionality, and minimize overall losses. An
ecologically-resilient system may experience transition to new equilibrium states
during the recovery process. However, the basic structure and function of the
system remains unchanged (Shariand Yamagata 2016).
Driven by the growing understanding that future changes are hard to predict,
disasters are not always preventable, and urban systems should learn how to live
with risk; a more recent approach has emerged and gained widespread popularity in
1 Resilience-Oriented Urban Planning 5
recent years. Highly inuenced by the above mentioned adaptive cycleconcept,
adaptive resilience
conceptualizes urban systems as complex and dynamic
socio-ecological systems. A nested set of adaptive cycles can be used to model the
performance of urban systems over time and across space. Adaptive resilience
facilitates appropriate interactions between slow and fast variables. This allows the
system to smoothly alternate between long periods of stability and short periods of
chaotic change, without losing its integrity and functionality. Social-ecological
memory, self-organization, and learning from the past are essential characteristics
for achieving adaptive resilience. Overall, adaptive resilience strengthens short-term
coping and long-term adaptation capacities and enables the system to sustain
functionality over time. Since urban system is nested in a hierarchy of adaptive
cycles, it does not necessarily return to (new or old) equilibrium states following
adverse events. Adaptive resilience enables building safe-to-failsystems that not
only bounce back from disasters, but also bounce forward and constantly enhance
their performance and adaptive capacity (Ahern 2011; Gunderson and Holling
2002; Shariand Yamagata 2016).
The adaptive resilienceconcept recognizes system complexities and dynamics
and lends itself to describing and understanding resilience of urban systems as complex
and dynamic social-ecological systems. Inspired by the concept of adaptive resilience,
this study denes urban resilience as the ability of urban systems to continuously
develop short-term coping and long-term adaptation strategies-considering,
Fig. 1.1 A representation of the adaptive cycle theory. Source
Terms such as social-ecological resilience, transformational resilience, and adaptive resilience are
sometimes used interchangeably and all refer to the same concept.
6 A. Shariand Y. Yamagata
and in response to constantly changing system dynamics and complexities over a
range of spatial and temporal scales-to mitigate hazards, withstand and absorb
shocks, rapidly bounce back to baseline functioning, and more effectively adapt to
disruptive events by bouncing forward to better system congurations.
Achieving urban resilience requires incorporation of essential principles and
characteristics such as robustness, stability, diversity, redundancy, exibility,
resourcefulness, coordination capacity, modularity, collaboration, agility, ef-
ciency, creativity, equity, foresight capacity, self-organization, and adaptability into
the urban system. These principles and characteristics have been dened elsewhere
(Shariand Yamagata 2016) and will be referred to in describing the major ele-
ments of resilience-oriented urban planning in the following sections.
1.3 Integration of Resilience Thinking
into Urban Planning
Several fundamental practices and measures for integrating resilience thinking into
the theory and practice of urban planning are discussed in this section. These
discussions include arguments on the importance and benets of incorporating
resilience into urban planning, as well as, some remarks on how such an incor-
poration can be achieved.
Before embarking on these discussions, it is worth noting that, traditionally,
disaster risk management has always been an essential part of urban planning.
However, as will be discussed in the rest of this chapter, introduction of the concept
of resilience has given rise to major transformations in approaches to urban disaster
risk management. Traditionally, disaster risk management was mainly focused on
short- and medium- term emergency planning and mitigation efforts. Integrating
resilience thinking into urban disaster risk reduction encourages taking a medium-
to long- term approach which is more compatible with phenomena such as climate
change that are characterized by slow and steady changes as compared to those that
occur abruptly (slow vs fast variables) (Sellberg et al. 2015).
Resilience can be either against abrupt shocks that often occur due to climate
variability or against slow and steady changes caused by climate change. In
response to abrupt shocks, it is important to enhance resistance, robustness, and
absorption capacities of the system, incorporate redundant elements in the system
conguration, and develop plans to recover rapidly in case damage is occurred.
Changes caused by climate change exhibit different features. Slow and steady
variables that continuously change the system may cause irreversible transforma-
tions and shift the system into completely different regimes. Under such conditions,
only emphasizing principles such as robustness and redundancy would not be
sufcient and improvements in terms of coping, adaptation, and transformation
capacities are needed (Kim and Lim 2016). Resilience-based planning and disaster
management requires continuous and systematic efforts to coordinate the ongoing
processes related to exploitation, conservation, release, and reorganization as the
1 Resilience-Oriented Urban Planning 7
four major phases of the adaptive cycle. One point to be mentioned is that the
medium- and long-term nature of climate change related phenomena may conict
with the short-term nature of electoral cycles that affect urban policies. Effective
strategies, such as raising citizen awareness, need to be developed to address this
temporal mismatch.
Traditional urban disaster risk management is mainly centered around vulnera-
bility assessment and developing action plans for reducing vulnerability.
Vulnerability is a static concept that provides a snapshot of system conditions and is
often evaluated before the occurrence of the event. However, resilience-oriented
disaster management recognizes the importance of understanding dynamics and
complexities of the system and intends to explain how these dynamics and feed-
backs evolve across temporal and spatial scales. Resilience can, therefore, be
considered as a dynamic property that is constantly changing and indicates trans-
formations of system vulnerabilities over time (Irwin et al. 2016).
In the following sub-sections, implications of integrating resilience thinking into
urban planning are discussed. It should, however, be mentioned that not all plan-
ning stages and components are covered here and only selected fundamental points
are discussed.
1.3.1 Planning Strategy and Vision
Visioning and strategy making is one of the most fundamental parts of any planning
effort. Traditionally, establishing a desirable development pathway and safe-
guarding it has been at the center of planning efforts. Blueprint plans are developed
to provide a clear vision for future growth and development and to deliver guidance
for action. Although they can be suitable for achieving the former goal, fulllment
of the latter goal will be challenging. Resilience thinking questions suitability of
blueprint planning on the grounds that development pathways need to be regularly
updated in order to deal with the constantly changing prole of risks and uncer-
tainties. Due to their rigidity, blueprint plans fail to capture dynamics and com-
plexities of urban systems. Integrating resilience thinking into urban planning
requires recognizing the shortcomings of blueprint planning. It is essential to
acknowledge that threats cannot always be prevented due to the unpredictability of
future conditions. Integrating resilience thinking into urban planning requires
stepping away from the predict and preventapproach and moving towards
understanding and accommodating complexities and uncertainties inherent in the
planning for cities as dynamic and constantly evolving social-ecological systems
(Reed et al. 2013). Adopting experimental approaches based on learning by doing
principles (involving co-design and transdisciplinary approaches that engage dif-
ferent stakeholders in urban planning) is an effective social learning strategy for
dealing with uncertainties inherent in social ecological systems and achieving
adaptive planning and design (Ahern et al. 2014; Reed et al. 2013; Wilkinson
8 A. Shariand Y. Yamagata
It should be appreciated that engineering approaches that emphasize eliminating
risk factors, through technological advances and physical planning approaches such
as construction of coastal walls and levees, may not be sufcient for safeguarding
communities. Instead of eliminating risk, avoiding exposure (e.g. through appro-
priate site selection) and enhancing resilience to risk should be emphasized
(Syphard et al. 2013). Planning authorities should understand the possibility of risk
and develop innovative and adaptive planning and design strategies so that the
system can experience a safe failure (safe to failinstead of fail safe) (Ahern
et al. 2014). For this purpose, a paradigm shift from blueprint planning (linear and
static) to adaptive planning that embraces change and involves regular and iterative
processes of monitoring, assessment, and scenario making is needed.
Further benets can also be realized by integrating assessment and monitoring
into the planning process. Study conducted in Eskilstuna, Sweden shows that
resilience assessment can facilitate brainstorming on uncertainties and complexities
and help achieve a dynamic systemsapproach (Sellberg et al. 2015). Through
developing longer-term scenarios and analyzing future changes within longer time
horizons, resilience-based planning and assessment provides more opportunities for
accommodating uncertainties and complexities. The system dynamics are appre-
ciated through integrating changing thresholds into planning and assessment
frameworks and taking account of social ecological interactions that occur across
time and scale (Sellberg et al. 2015). In addition, assessment and certication can
encourage companies and developers to aim for best practices and integrate inno-
vative thinking into their activities.
Earlier, it was mentioned that adaptive resilience promotes a non-equilibrium
perspective to system functionality and disaster recovery. This signies a shift from
the conservative mindset that promotes maintaining status quo and returning to
equilibrium conditions (traditional urban disaster risk management) to perspectives
that embrace change and see disaster (happening or pending) as an opportunity to
enhance the overall performance of the system and achieve transformative
1.3.2 Public Participation and Capacity Building
City is a social-ecological system where humans and environment are tightly
interconnected. Stewardship of human-environment interactions and management
of natural resources lie at the core of resilience concept (Wilkinson 2012a).
Resilience-oriented planning acknowledges these interactions and puts people at the
center of planning efforts and activities. Participation should be an integral part of
the planning process, during both pre- and post-disaster periods. It should involve
as many stakeholders as possible and start as early as problem denition in the
planning process (co-design) (Schauppenlehner-Kloyber and Penker 2016). Public
participation and citizen engagement in mitigation and risk communication efforts
is a social learning practice and improves social capital which is widely believed as
1 Resilience-Oriented Urban Planning 9
an essential component of urban resilience (Prior and Eriksen 2013). It is also
important to promote communal actions and common practices (again important for
enhancing social capital). The citizens should acknowledge that achieving urban
resilience may require enhancing preparedness of all households and community
members and this may require communal actions. For instance, vulnerability of one
household to re hazard may have consequences for neighboring households too
(spread of re) (Prior and Eriksen 2013).
Stakeholder engagement should also be prioritized during the post-disaster
period. Getting people (and not just property owners) involved in the reconstruction
process is considered as an important step to build their capacities, empower them,
and enhance their resilience and adaptive capacity (Schilderman and Lyons 2011).
Participation of people in the reconstruction activities also results in better overall
satisfaction with living conditions following the completion of the reconstruction
process (Schilderman and Lyons 2011). Furthermore, through capacity building
activities, participation in the reconstruction process improves self-organization
capacities and reduces community dependence on external support (Schilderman
and Lyons 2011).
1.3.3 Equity and Empowerment of Poor and Marginalized
Resilience planning efforts should be aimed at protecting poor and marginalized
groups from the negative impacts of disasters through enhancing their economic
conditions (Peyroux 2015). Rapid and unregulated urbanization in many cities in
the developing world may lead to the formation and growth of informal settlements
and poor communities. These communities are often more vulnerable to the impacts
of disasters. There is ample evidence demonstrating that low income and
marginalized groups are disproportionately affected by the impacts of climate
change and other disasters. For instance earthquakes of higher magnitude have
resulted in less damage and casualties in cities of developed countries such as the
US and Japan as compared to earthquakes of relatively lower order of magnitude
hitting cities of developing countries such as Haiti, India, and Iran (Schilderman
and Lyons 2011). Many cities in the developing countries are polarized and poor.
Marginalized groups in these cities cannot afford complying with required building
and construction standards (Schilderman and Lyons 2011). High prices of land and
properties in such cities leave the poor groups with no option but to build their
settlements on highly vulnerable sites such as steep slopes and alluvial and uvial
plains. This further increases their vulnerability (Schilderman and Lyons 2011). It
is, therefore, essential to integrate social justice into resilience planning activities.
To protect poor and marginalized groups from being disproportionately affected
by the impacts of disasters, imposing limitations on development in disaster-prone
areas is essential. This can be achieved by developing risk maps that clearly identify
risk-prone areas that should be protected, preventing new developments in those
10 A. Shariand Y. Yamagata
areas, and developing strategies to incrementally relocate existing properties in
risk-prone areas. Occurrence of disasters provides opportunities to take actions that
more effectively prevent persistence of vulnerabilities by restricting return of people
and businesses to disaster areas. However, if relocation is necessary, care should be
taken to ensure that livelihoods of communities are not negatively impacted.
Relocation should not negatively impact access of communities to ecosystem ser-
vices essential for their livelihood (Villagra et al. 2016). For instance, relocating a
shing community to inland areas that are far from the sea can have signicant
livelihood impacts (Schilderman and Lyons 2011). Evidence from Korail, Dhaka
shows that people may prefer living in risk-prone areas that provide them
with better livelihood opportunities over comparatively less risky locations
with unsecure livelihood opportunities (Jabeen et al. 2010). Therefore, relocation
from risk-prone areas should be coupled with mechanisms to provide alternative
livelihood opportunities in the short run and diversify livelihood strategies in the
long run.
Disproportionate impacts on poor and marginalized groups can also be reduced
by developing empowerment strategies. Meta-analysis conducted by Oberlack and
Eisenack (2014) identies income insecurity, restricted availability and accessibility
to critical infrastructure, low standard housing conditions, land tenure insecurity,
and lack of access to education and health services as major barriers undermining
adaptive capacity of communities. Evidence from Korail, Dhaka suggests that
tenure instability adversely impacts inhabitantswillingness to enhance their living
conditions and levels of preparedness (Jabeen et al. 2010). Obviously, lack of
tenure can erode inhabitants coping capacity. Therefore, empowerment should
include enhancing sense of ownership and developing strategies for securing land
and home tenure, especially in informal areas (Jabeen et al. 2010). Empowerment
should also involve municipal support for development of collective insurance and
saving schemes for poor urbanites living in informal areas of developing countries.
These efforts could also be complemented through development of innovative
municipal insurance plans for further support of urban poor (Jabeen et al. 2010).
Social inclusion is tightly tied with social cohesion and contributes to urban
resilience (Peyroux 2015). Enhanced accessibility to infrastructures, safety nets and
services in the community, empowerment initiatives to enhance capacity of
low-income and marginalized groups, creation of jobs and employment opportu-
nities for diverse community groups, and engagement in the decision making
process are examples of efforts that can be taken for improving social inclusion
(Peyroux 2015).
1.3.4 Traditional Local Knowledge
Many cities have been inhabited for centuries. Over their histories, residents have
learned how to deal with disturbing events and pass on design and construction
techniques to later generations. Modern planning efforts should not deny existing
1 Resilience-Oriented Urban Planning 11
planning culture. It should be considered as an asset that needs to be improved as
the nature of disasters evolves over time.
The signicance of utilizing traditional ecological knowledge for building
resilience is emphasized in the literature (McMillen et al. 2017). Planners should
understand how coping strategies and capacities of communities to adapt to climate
change and variabilities have evolved over time (McMillen et al. 2017). Studying
this evolution process will provide valuable lessons about how to adapt to future
changes. For instance, traditional ecological knowledge can be used in selecting
species suitable for the local climate (e.g. drought-tolerant species in water-stressed
areas) (McMillen et al. 2017).
Other benets can also be accrued from understanding traditional local knowl-
edge. It strengthens social capital, enhances modularity, and contributes to local
economy. For instance, awareness of local building technologies and tapping into
them reduces dependence on external support and contributes to local economy
(Schilderman and Lyons 2011). Respecting local building technologies and
applying vernacular architecture principles in modern construction can also provide
other co-benets in terms of energy resilience and thermal comfort (Shariand
Yamagata 2016).
1.3.5 Institutional Reforms
The structure and functionality of urban systems is characterized by complex and
dynamic interrelationships and interactions between a broad spectrum of actors,
institutions, sectors, infrastructures, norms, networks, and processes that operate at
multiple spatial and temporal scales. Therefore, achieving urban resilience requires
developing institutional mechanisms that transcend spatial, temporal, and sectoral
boundaries. These institutional mechanisms should be guided by an adaptive
management strategy that facilitates collaboration between different stakeholders
and gets them involved in continuous processes and feedback loops of learning and
adaptation (Crowe et al. 2016). According to Crowe et al. (2016), adaptive man-
agement should start with understanding the system through collecting data, gen-
erating information, and making the information accessible for different actors to
better understand factors that drive change. In terms of the system operation, it is
needed to reduce bureaucratic hierarchies, adopt co-design and co-production
approaches, capitalize on social and community capital, and emphasize incremental
approaches based on learning by doing. Adaptive management should also improve
the overall efciency of the system through instigating behavioral changes, estab-
lishing support networks between resources, and optimizing system performance.
It can be argued that devolution of power to local communities, building a
culture of collaboration, developing effective communication strategies, appropriate
nancing of disaster risk management, establishing public-private partnerships, and
enhancing institutional transparency and accountability are critical for streamlining
adaptive management strategies in urban planning efforts.
12 A. Shariand Y. Yamagata
Decentralization and devolution of power to local authorities is essential for
enhancing local capacity. Successful adaptation and resilience building requires
direct participation and input from the local community. Achieving this objective is
difcult in highly centralized political systems that lack integrated management at
the urban level (Villagra et al. 2016). Strong local authorities with stable and
sustainable budget resources are better capable of enhancing community resilience
and responding to disaster risks (Villagra et al. 2016). A paradigm shift from
top-down and command and controlapproaches towards recognition of bottom-up
community-based efforts is needed. Such a shift improves adaptability and exi-
bility of urban systems and recognizes signicance of factors such as human
behavior, stakeholder interactions, social networks, etc. (Prior and Eriksen 2013;
Reed et al., 2013).
Promoting a culture of collaboration is one way to achieve decentralization.
Different forms of collaboration, ranging from cross-sectoral collaboration, through
collaboration between cities, to inter- and trans-disciplinary collaboration are
A challenging, yet critical, task would be stepping away from sector-based
planning toward recognizing that urban issues are often interconnected.
Collaboration between different actors, sectors, and agencies is needed to better
understand interdependencies, minimize conicts and trade-offs, and maximize
synergies. A case study of Rotterdam shows that collaboration across different
governmental and non-governmental stakeholders, with diverse interests, is
essential for enhancing urban resilience. Collaboration networks should be estab-
lished to coordinate between groups with different interests. Operationalizing such
coordination networks requires a shift from top-down and infrastructure-based
planning to decentralized planning that acknowledges signicance of various social,
economic, and environmental forces (Lu and Stead 2013). Networking should not
be limited within the city boundaries. It is increasingly recognized that building
global networks for promotion of city-scale collaborations can be an effective way
for gaining support and sharing knowledge and experiences (Lu and Stead 2013).
This is specically important for supporting cities in the Global South. Cities in the
developing countries often have less adaptive capacity to combat the impacts of
climate change. Since developed countries are responsible for a signicant share of
cumulative atmospheric Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHGs), it is the historical
responsibility of cities in the Global North to collaborate with those in the Global
South through transfer of knowledge and technologies (Oberlack and Eisenack
2014). Inter- and trans-disciplinary collaboration is also needed because no single
discipline is capable of appropriately capturing complexities and dynamics involved
in inert-linkages between different social, environmental, and economic factors
related to urban resilience. The increasing interest in addressing urban complexities
from the perspective of food-water-energy-carbon nexus is a good example in this
Applying appropriate communication strategies is essential for facilitating col-
laboration between actors with different interests and backgrounds. Drawing on
urban ood risk management case studies in several cities in Denmark and the
1 Resilience-Oriented Urban Planning 13
Netherlands, Fratini et al. (2012) argue that a multitude of stakeholders, including,
water professionals, urban planners, landscape architects, natural scientists,
laypersons and politicians should be engaged in the planning process. These
stakeholders may have different values and communication techniques should be
employed to create a common vision and a common understanding among them.
Appropriate communication strategies should clarify the interrelationships between
various social, natural, and technological aspects of the issue and possibly develop
multifunctional strategies and action plans that can benet various groups of
stakeholders and, at the same time, enhance urban resilience by improving citizen
awareness and system exibility. When communicating climate change resilience
strategies and action plans (and results of vulnerability and resilience assessment)
with stakeholders, it should be noted that highly technical language may not be
easily understood by all community groups. Communication using a commonly
understandable language is needed for promoting shared learning experiences that
can improve social capital (Reed et al. 2013).
Access to nancial resources is essential for maintaining the planning, absorp-
tion, recovery, and adaptation abilities of urban systems. Availability of sufcient
nancial resources enhances preparation efforts and can expedite the recovery
process following a disaster. Maintaining nancial reserves, establishing mutual aid
agreements with neighboring communities and regions, establishing micronance
mechanisms in collaboration with vulnerable communities, insuring properties,
issuing catastrophe bondsand contingent credit contracts, developing
microinsurance plans, and establishing public-private partnerships can provide
authorities with resources needed during the recovery process (Johannessen et al.
2014). Urban authorities should provide opportunities and incentives for involve-
ment of the private sector. Unlike developed countries, share of private investment
in urban infrastructure management in developing countries is limited. This needs
to be changed to improve resilience of cities. Public-private partnerships provide
learning and innovation opportunities for both sectors and can, therefore, be
regarded as social learning practices that as mentioned earlier are critical for
enhancing urban resilience (Johannessen et al. 2014). Nongovernmental
Organizations (NGOs) and Nonprot Organizations (NPOs) can play an effective
role in the immediate aftermath of disasters, as proved following Hurricane Katrina.
These groups will also facilitate better rebuilding in the later stages. Therefore,
public-private partnerships that also engage NGOs and NPOs are considered
essential for disaster preparation and provide communities with increased resources
available to respond to disasters (Carpenter 2015). It should be mentioned that only
relying on private sector can cause problems, especially in terms of providing
services to low income and marginalized groups such as slum dwellers. Private
sector tends to avert nancial risks and this may lead to exclusion of marginalized
communities that are often in a nancially precarious situation (Johannessen et al.
2014). In some informal settlements, services are provided by small-scale inde-
pendent providers(SSIPs)which are often informal entities. Urban authorities
should develop strategies for formalizing such providers and integrating and
engaging them in decision making processes (Johannessen et al. 2014).
14 A. Shariand Y. Yamagata
In order to ensure proper application of the above-mentioned institutional
measures, enhancing transparency and accountability of urban management activ-
ities is critical. Compliance with transparency standards enhances trust in authori-
ties, encourages stakeholder participation, reduces the possibility of corruption, and
ensures proper expenditure of municipal funds.
1.3.6 Social Networks and Social Support
Early human settlements were often spatially divided into neighborhoods that were
characterized by the presence of strong social networks. These networks have
functioned as sources of social and economic support during adverse situations
(Shariand Murayama 2013). As urbanization intensies and virtual communi-
cation networks gain increasing strength, concerns about the decline of social
networks in cities become salient.
Social networks provide opportunities for having access to mutual support when
needed. They enable individuals, households and communities to seek support (e.g.
nancial aid, resources, emotional support) from other groups at the time of disaster
(Jabeen et al. 2010). These networks are also vital for information ow and for
sharing experiences. Social networks are often established within and/or beyond
neighborhoods and include groups with shared identities (e.g. faith-based, com-
mercial, linguistic, etc.) (Jabeen et al. 2010). In addition to the above-mentioned
benets, these multi-scale networks can improve the self-organization capacity of
communities (Wilkinson 2012a).
Bolstering social networks should be prioritized in planning for urban resilience.
It is especially important to employ effective strategies for preserving functionality
of social networks when preparing plans for urban renovation and gentrication in
historic neighborhoods. Razing old neighborhoods and districts can destroy social
relationships that have been in place for a long time (Wallace and Wallace 2011).
Drawing on insights from the destruction of some New York neighborhoods
(Harlem, South Bronx) in the late twentieth century, Wallace and Wallace (2011)
argue that post-destruction policies that promote ethnic segregation undermine
resilience of communities and their capacity to respond to negative social and
health-related impacts. They argue that the massive destruction projects have
resulted in homogeneous neighborhoods (white or black) with small social net-
works that do not interact properly to establish social ties. Diversity in terms of
ethnicity, socio-economic status, and age can contribute to strengthening social
networks (Wallace and Wallace 2011).
Sense of place is an integral component of urban resilience and is essential for
formation, maintenance, and growth of social networks. Sense of place improves
urban resilience and reinforces social networks by strengthening feelings of trust
and reciprocity, providing incentives for collective action, and facilitating pooling
of skills and resources in the community (McMillen et al. 2017). It also improves
households willingness to take preparation measures against potential future
1 Resilience-Oriented Urban Planning 15
hazards (Prior and Eriksen 2013). Development and preservation of place attach-
ment and sense of community should be prioritized in development of urban ren-
ovation and regeneration projects. Sharing knowledge and experiences and
engagement in social learning and communal activities may be more difcult in
communities with higher rates of turnover, as the process of creating social bonds
and trust in neighbors may take time (Prior and Eriksen 2013).
Survey conducted in Australia (Hobart, Tasmania and Sydney) showed that
sense of community and attachment to place improves social cohesion, knowledge
and information sharing, and tendency to collective action which are important
factors in enhancing community preparedness to wildre hazards (Prior and Eriksen
2013). Social cohesion is essential for transferring response knowledge to com-
munity members. In cohesive societies, residents nd their neighbors and com-
munity members reliable to provide them with support when needed (Prior and
Eriksen 2013). Cohesive societies that feature collective action exhibit higher levels
of coping capacity and are likely to better self-organize to address irregularities and
uncertainties involved in disaster risk management. The propensity to get prepared
to respond to disturbing events is also expected to be higher in socially cohesive
communities (Prior and Eriksen 2013). Social cohesion enhances collective mem-
ory (i.e. lessons learned from previous experiences) which can facilitate a better
response to future risks (Prior and Eriksen 2013). It can also be important for
implementing adaptation strategies such as collective savings in the community and
community-driven infrastructure management.
1.3.7 Dimensional, Spatial, and Temporal
Interrelationships and Interlinkages
Conventional urban planning has achieved limited success in addressing inter-
linkages between different sectors and different socio-economic and environmental
factors that shape cities and affect their performance. There is also a lack of
understanding about the spatial and temporal dynamics of urban functions, pro-
cesses, and changes.
Traditionally, plans for urban development have been prepared based on
silo-based approaches and each city department has been responsible for preparing
plans related to specic sectors (i.e. water, energy, housing, economy, etc.). This
approach is not appropriate for understanding how different sectors are intercon-
nected. Sustainability-oriented approaches have for long been in search of solutions
to tackle this shortcoming. However, development and operationalization of such
solutions has proved to be challenging. Since dealing with interconnections is
inherent in resilience theory, resilience concept is useful for strengthening the shift
from silo-based planning to understanding and taking account of interconnections
(Sellberg et al. 2015). Integrating resilience thinking into urban planning provides
opportunities for capturing the interactions between different sectors and under-
standing the nature and complexity of interlinkages between social, economic, and
16 A. Shariand Y. Yamagata
ecological factors. Achieving such integration is essential for better under-
standing the dynamics of urban systems and their potential future trajectories
(Peyroux 2015).
A major attribute of social ecological resilience is that components of the system
are interlinked and interconnected. Urban system is a social-ecological system and
thus its underlying components exhibit multiple linkages across spatial and tem-
poral scales (Wilkinson 2012a). Planning efforts for enhancing urban resilience
should not be only restricted to the city boundaries. Several risks such as ashoods
have roots in upstream land use changes and human interventions in the environ-
ment (e.g. deforestation). Failure in upstream landscape planning can cause several
socio-economic and health impacts and trigger secondary risks such as water-borne
diseases downstream (in case of ooding events) (Johannessen et al. 2014). For
instance, deforestation is believed to be one of the factors contributing to the 1988
ooding in Greater Dhaka. The ooding also impacted citys drinking water system
and affected the lives of about 11 million inhabitants through water pollution and
water borne diseases (Johannessen et al. 2014).
Resilience planning should also consider dynamics and feedbacks across tem-
poral scale. Traditionally, planning efforts aimed at vulnerability assessment for
disaster risk reduction have focused on providing a snapshot in time of the rapidly
evolving state of cities. However, path dependencies are important and under-
standing the temporal continuum within which the dynamic processes and system
transformations occur is indispensable (Shari2016). Some simple strategies for
incorporating temporal dynamism into resilience planning include longitudinal
analyses to evaluate the degree of effectiveness of action plans and interventions in
absorbing shocks and expediting recovery process and also using scenario-making
and projection techniques for anticipating potential future changes and dynamics
Overall, different stakeholders across multiple scales inuence dynamics of cities
as social ecological systems and multi-level adaptive networks are needed to take
account of interactions across temporal and geographic scales (Boyd and Juhola
1.3.8 Resilience-Oriented Land Use Planning
Land use planning should emphasize minimizing exposure to risk, facilitating
timely response, and maximizing absorption capacity. To minimize risk exposure,
land development should be prevented in certain locations such as ecologically
sensitive and risk-prone areas (e.g. ood-prone or earthquake-prone areas).
Controlling and regulating development in risk-prone areas is already
well-recognized in the eld of urban disaster risk management. To integrate resi-
lience thinking into urban planning and urban disaster risk management, ecosystem
protection should also be further strengthened. Urban planners should appropriately
consider various services provided by the ecosystem and acknowledge that
1 Resilience-Oriented Urban Planning 17
ecosystem planning and conservation can also provide buffers that can mitigate
impacts of ooding, tsunami, and other disasters (Villagra et al. 2016). Specically,
urban development should not encroach on valuable ecosystems such as wetlands
and greenelds and should not disrupt the natural drainage ows that are critical for
ood mitigation. Protection of ecosystem services and avoidance of development in
risk-prone areas may require relocation of some existing urban areas and infras-
tructures. However, as earlier mentioned, relocation should not negatively impact
access of communities, living in those areas, to ecosystem services that are essential
for their livelihood.
Density, mix of uses, connectivity, accessibility, permeability, and
multi-functionality are some other basic attributes and criteria related to land use
planning that inuence resilience and vulnerability proles of cities. These criteria
have implications for evacuation planning, ood risk management, energy and
water consumption, urban heat island effect, social justice, etc.
Choosing appropriate density thresholds has major implications for urban resi-
lience. Increasing density up to a certain point can reduce per-capita energy con-
sumption. It can also provide environmental benets, as low-density development
may result in the loss of valuable greeneld areas and the ecosystem services that
they provide. Low-density development can also be associated with other issues
such as increased commuting distances, diminished accessibility of emergency
response teams and services, and increased vulnerability to natural disturbances
such as wildre. For instance, research shows that low housing density and leapfrog
development (isolated development clusters) increase vulnerability to wildre risks
(as compared to inll development that increases overall housing density in inner
urban areas) (Syphard et al. 2013). It should, however, be noted that high density
may have adverse impacts on the response and absorption abilities of communities.
Open spaces needed for evacuation and temporary sheltering may be more limited
in high-density areas. High-density urban development can also increase ood risk
by increasing impervious surfaces. Incorporation of green infrastructure into urban
development plans will also be more challenging in high-density areas.
Green corridors are recognized as important elements for connecting people with
nature and providing landscape connectivity. The latter facilitates movement of
species (species traversing landscape patches) and provides ecosystem services to
the urban dwellers. Urban ecosystem services can also be maintained through
protection of natural habitats in the city. As mentioned above, ecosystem protection
is vital for regulating temperature, mitigating extreme events such as ooding and
heat waves, and protecting livelihoods of inhabitants. The connectivity criterion has
also implications for street networks. Highly connected and porous urban areas
facilitate better movement of people and vehicles. Street connectivity is essential for
effective emergency response and safe and timely evacuation following distur-
bances. If coupled with well-designed pedestrian areas, street connectivity can also
encourage walking which has substantial implications in terms of energy saving,
mental and physical health, and social interactions. It is argued that walkable and
mixed use neighborhoods provide more opportunities for strengthening social
networks and enhancing social interactions among neighbors, thereby enhancing
18 A. Shariand Y. Yamagata
social capital and sense of attachment to the community (Carpenter 2015). In a
study about resilience of communities along the Gulf Coast, it was found that
intersection density has the highest effect on enhancing resilience. Other note-
worthy factors include residential density, density of historic sites, and land use
mix. It is argued that such urban form features can create opportunities for more
social encounters and interactions and strengthen social networking among citizens
which is believed to be critical for enhancing resilience (Carpenter 2015). As
explained in Sect. 1.3.6, more social encounters and strengthened social networks
can also contribute to building urban resilience by enhancing sense of community.
To integrate resilience thinking into urban planning, paying attention to
multi-functionality of land use is critical. Diversity and redundancy attributes can
be incorporated into the urban system by creating land use patterns that facilitate
achieving multiple technological, social, economic, and ecological functions. For
instance, open spaces and parks can be used for stormwater management and also
provide other services such as evacuation space and playgrounds for children
(Fratini et al. 2012). The multi-functional car parks in Rotterdam provide an
underground space that includes water storage tanks or reservoirs and can be used
for stormwater retention (to take some pressure off the drainage system), peak ow
reduction, and temporary water storage if needed (Balsells et al. 2013). Such
alternative systems can be used in case the excess water runoff exceeds the capacity
of the drainage system (Balsells et al. 2013).
1.3.9 Resilient Urban Infrastructure
Critical infrastructures such as communication infrastructures, educational centers,
energy and water systems, nancial institutions, re stations, health centers, and
transportation networks are the backbones of modern cities. All these systems are
susceptible to a diverse prole of risks, including the potential impacts of climate
change. For instance, many centralized energy plants are located in low laying areas
that will be affected by sea level rise; dry spells and droughts have negative impacts
on the capacity of hydropower facilities; and extreme events such as hurricanes and
typhoons can bring to a halt communication and transportation systems.
To achieve urban resilience, these principles and characteristics should be
incorporated into infrastructure planning: robustness, diversity, redundancy, exi-
bility, efciency, modularity, and innovation (creativity). Updating existing urban
regulations, buildings codes, zoning codes, and design guidelines will be a rst step
towards incorporating these principles into infrastructure planning. Most urban
infrastructures have a long lifetime. Compliance with these principles is critical to
avoid lock in into inefcient and unsustainable development trajectories. Location
of critical infrastructure is an important factor that has implications for the
robustness criterion (Armenakis and Nirupama 2013). New infrastructures should
not be built in risk-prone areas and should comply with strict building standards so
that the urban system can maintain its stability under high-risk scenarios. Strategies
1 Resilience-Oriented Urban Planning 19
should be developed for relocating existing buildings and properties from
risk-prone areas. Existing buildings and infrastructures located in other areas should
be retrotted to meet the requirements of the most updated building codes and
regulations. In addition, proper infrastructure maintenance is needed to ensure its
functionality over time. Technical and nancial knowledge at the local level is
needed for maintaining operationality of critical infrastructure (Johannessen et al.
It should be noted that overreliance on enhancing resilience and reducing vul-
nerability through enhancing infrastructure robustness can create a false sense of
safety. An example of such a sense of security was experienced when Hurricane
Katrina hit New Orleans and there was overreliance on dams and levees built for
ood risk management and coastal protection. Failure of such hard infrastructures
caused unprecedented catastrophic losses in the area (Johannessen et al. 2014).
Traditionally, providers of urban services such as water, waste management,
energy, and food have managed infrastructures in a centralized way. This tendency
towards centralized systems is explained by the belief that management of cen-
tralized infrastructure is less complicated and more efcient (Shariet al. 2017).
However, there is a growing recognition that decentralized infrastructure is more
resilient and provides benets in terms of diversity, redundancy, and modularity.
Decentralization of infrastructures makes it possible to utilize a diverse array of
resources. For instance, various technologies such as nuclear, coal, natural gas,
hydroelectric, biomass, solar photovoltaics, and wind can be used for electricity
generation. Redundant infrastructure systems are needed for achieving such a
diversity. This may affect the efciency of the system, but is essential for dis-
tributing risk, improving modularity of the system, and minimizing its vulnerability
to disruptions in the supply chain (Shariet al. 2017).
Decentralization of infrastructure is also considered an essential strategy for
minimizing the knock-on effects that may spread throughout the system due to the
fact that different sub-systems of the urban system are interconnected and disruption
in one system can trigger disruptions in the others (Shariand Yamagata 2016).
Decentralization of infrastructure should be considered as an opportunity for
incorporating clean and renewable technologies into the urban system (e.g.
developing micro-grids that are fed by solar panels and mico-turbines) (Shariand
Yamagata 2016). Such a system needs to be co-designed and co-managed by
different community stakeholders. Participation in such co-design and
co-management efforts provides opportunities for creating social bonds in the
community and can result in improvements in terms of social cohesion. It can also
be considered as a social learning exercise that may result in societal transforma-
tion. For instance, decentralized water, food, and energy systems are important for
enhancing citizen understanding of the resource cycle and origin of the resources.
Decentralization of these systems may, therefore, have a positive inuence on their
consumption behavior (Rauland and Newman 2011).
Benets of decentralization can be maximized by incorporating blue and green
infrastructures into the urban system. Over the past few decades, a large body of
literature has been published on a diverse group of green and blue infrastructures
20 A. Shariand Y. Yamagata
that can enhance resilience of cities against disturbing events such as ooding,
drought, and heat wave (van de Ven et al. 2016). There are also tools such as
Climate Adaptation App ( can be used by various
stakeholders to guide them on how to incorporate climate sensitive and resilient
strategies into urban planning and design. In the reminder of this section, only a
brief explanation of blue and green infrastructures is provided.
Green and blue infrastructures are essential for regulating urban microclimate,
reducing heat island effect, and mitigating ood risk. A wide variety of green
infrastructure technologies, such as green roofs, bioswales, rainwater harvesting
systems, and permeable pavements can be incorporated into urban development.
For instance, a combination of underground (e.g. drainage canals) and above
ground (e.g. permeable surfaces) techniques should be used for ood risk man-
agement (Fratini et al. 2012). Current drainage systems have been designed to
accommodate certain amounts of waste water and rainwater discharge and sur-
charge. These systems are designed based on the requirements of specicooding
return periods. Resilience-based planning should enhance capacity of drainage
systems to meet the needs of large ood volumes with (potentially) large return
periods. It should also incorporate sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDSs) and
water sensitive urban design measures to enhance adaptive capacity of cities to
mitigate ooding (Fratini et al. 2012). Water sensitive urban design principles and
strategies such as permeable pavements (instead of sealed surfaces that increase the
severity of ash ooding and reduce groundwater recharge rate), green roofs (for
peak ow reduction through water retention), retention ponds, bioswales, etc.,
should be applied in order to get prepared for the potential impacts of changing
rainfall patterns that will overwhelm the capacity of existing drainage systems.
These strategies should be coupled with other actions such as solid waste man-
agement. Effective management of solid waste is necessary to avoid clogging of the
drainage system in the event of extreme ooding events. Such clogging can further
intensify oods and also trigger health-related risks (such as the spread of
water-borne diseases) (Brown et al. 2012).
It should be noted that there are also other types of infrastructures (e.g. trans-
portation and communication) that have not been discussed here, but need to be
considered in resilience-oriented infrastructure planning.
1.4 Conclusions
Urban planning and design theories, discourses, policies, and processes are
increasingly framed using the resilience concept. This signies the increasing
recognition that, unless cities build their resilience, a broad host of risks and threats
including, but not limited to, extreme weather events, sea-level rise, droughts,
wildres, economic crises, and pressure on natural resources can disrupt the
functionality of urban systems.
1 Resilience-Oriented Urban Planning 21
To help cities build their resilience, it is essential to integrate resilience thinking
into urban planning and design. This chapter provides some fundamental discus-
sions on how such integration could be achieved. Inspired by the theory of adaptive
cycle it is argued that urban planning should not be considered as a static process.
Urban systems are dynamic entities characterized by non-equilibrium dynamics and
constantly go through the four phases of exploitation,conservation,release,
and reorganization.
It is argued that resilience thinking gives planning new perspectives that enable it
to frame and address complexities and uncertainties inherent in the understanding
and analysis of urban systems. Change, dynamism, uncertainty, adaptability and
self-organization are at the core of resilience planning. This is in clear contrast with
the traditional interpretation of planning as an effort to mainly resist disturbance and
build fail-safecities. Integrating resilience thinking into urban planning theory and
practice is necessary for taking account of uncertainties and complexities-scale and
scope of which can be increased due to climate change- inherent in urban systems
(Albers and Deppisch 2013). Resilience-based planning should acknowledge the
dynamics of urban system, step away from static blueprint planning, and shift
towards adaptive planning that involves regular and iterative processes of moni-
toring, assessment, and scenario making. It is also emphasized that a paradigm
shift from command and controlapproaches towards recognition of bottom-up
approaches and social learning practices is essential for achieving resilience-based
The chapter provides specic discussions on how to utilize resilience thinking
for transforming planning culture and methodology in the following thematic areas:
planning strategy and vision; public participation and capacity building; equity and
empowerment of poor and marginalized communities; traditional local knowledge;
institutional reforms; social networks and social support; dimensional, spatial, and
temporal interrelationships and interlinkages; land use planning; and urban infras-
tructure. A summary of these discussions is provided in Table 1.1. It is hoped that
such transformations not only improve efciency of urban systems and reduce
vulnerability, but also provide opportunities for innovation and contribute to
achieving sustainable urban development.
The paper argues that key attributes and principles such as robustness, stability,
diversity, redundancy, exibility, resourcefulness, coordination capacity, modu-
larity, collaboration, agility, efciency, creativity, equity, foresight capacity,
self-organization, and adaptability underpin the concept of resilience. Throughout
the chapter, it has been discussed how planning interventions aimed at integrating
resilience thinking into planning contribute to promoting these principles. Table 1.2
illustrates potential contributions of different planning themes to meeting the resi-
lience principles. It should be emphasized that this does not intend to be an
exhaustive illustration and further research is needed to be able to provide a more
detailed and precise account of potential contributions of different planning actions.
It should be mentioned that not all principles can be easily applied to urban
planning in every city. For instance, as cities around the world increasingly become
more interconnected and interdependent through the ow of information, energy,
22 A. Shariand Y. Yamagata
Table 1.1 A summary of the main features of conventional and resilience-oriented approaches to
Planning theme Conventional Resilience-oriented
Disaster risk
- Focus on short- and
medium-term emergency
planning and mitigation efforts
- Target fast variables, and
chaotic and abrupt changes
- Static vulnerability assessment
- Medium- to long-term approach
- Suitable to address both abrupt
and slow and steady changes
- Recognize the importance of
dynamics and complexities and
evaluating transformations
across temporal and spatial
- Capacity to respond to
constantly changing risks and
to expand the response margins
and capacities of the system
Planning vision and
- Blueprint planning (linear and
- Engineering approaches that
emphasize eliminating risk
- Equilibrium approach to
disaster recovery
- Predict and prevent approach
- Adaptive planning (regular and
iterative processes of
monitoring and scenario
- Acknowledge the
unpredictability of future
conditions and difculties in
completely preventing risks
- Non-equilibrium perspectives
to system functionality and
disaster recovery
Public participation and
capacity building
- Environmental determinism
- Limited public participation
- Local authorities are
responsible for providing
services (command and
- People-oriented design (putting
people at the center of planning
- Co-design, co-production, and
- Importance of communal
actions and self-organization
(capacity building)
Building equity and
empowering poor and
- Failure in upgrading conditions
of low-income urban areas
- Emergence and spread of
wealthy enclaves in cities
- Loose control over
development in risk-prone
- Limited insurance of properties
in poor neighborhoods
- Integrate social justice into
resilience planning efforts
- Reduce urban inequalities (e.g.
through affordable housing
- Regulate development on
risk-prone areas
- Ensure that relocation does not
affect livelihood prospects of
- Empower and enhance the
sense of ownership
- Utilize innovative municipal
insurance plans (e.g. collective
insurance and saving schemes)
1 Resilience-Oriented Urban Planning 23
Table 1.1 (continued)
Planning theme Conventional Resilience-oriented
Learning from
traditional local
- Overreliance on modern
planning and design strategies
- Spread of standardized
building techniques
- Due attention to traditional
coping capacities
- Awareness of vernacular
architecture and local building
Institutional reforms - Sector-based planning
- Communication using a highly
technical language
- Top-down planning
- Limited share of private
investment in urban
infrastructure management
(esp. in developing counties)
- Interactions between sectors
(interconnected and
- Decentralized planning
- Promotion of the culture of
- Incremental and learning by
doing approaches
- Recognize the signicance of
behavioral changes
- Transparent decision making
- Communication using a
commonly understandable
- Strong public-private
Social networks and
social support
- Renovation and gentrication
policies affect functionality of
social networks
- Community-based social
networks are bolstered
- Enhance place attachment and
sense of community
Sectoral, spatial, and
temporal interlinkages
- Failure to address interlinkages
between different sectors and
- Silo-based
- Lack of understanding of
spatial and temporal dynamics
-Not carried out in silos
- Efforts to understand
interconnections between
different sectors
- Emphasis on understanding
spatial and temporal dynamics
Resilience-oriented land
use planning
- Limited success in protecting
ecologically-sensitive areas
- Functional zoning
- Ecosystem protection
- Mixed use development
- Due attention to other attributes
such as density, connectivity,
accessibility, permeability, and
Resilient urban
- Overreliance on robustness
- Large, centralized
- Recognition of other attributes
such as diversity, redundancy,
exibility, efciency,
modularity, and innovation
- Small-scale, decentralized
24 A. Shariand Y. Yamagata
and matter, the relevance and applicability of the modularity principle becomes
more restricted (Albers and Deppisch 2013). However, some principles such as
diversity are more applicable and have already been integrated into plans of many
cities (Albers and Deppisch 2013). Further context-specic research is needed on
the relevance, applicability, and priority of different resilience principles.
Overall, this chapter emphasizes that major paradigm shifts in conventional
planning approaches are needed for integrating resilience thinking into urban
planning and design. Further work needs to be done to provide more details about
each planning theme that was discussed in this study (Sect. 1.3). Furthermore, it is
essential to examine other planning themes and discuss how they should be evolved
and transformed based on the principles of resilience thinking. Finally, challenges
and constraints in integrating resilience thinking into urban planning and design
should also be investigated.
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1 Resilience-Oriented Urban Planning 27
... In recent years, resilience has increasingly become a central planning goal for cities, particularly for those experiencing the adverse effects of climate change (Berbés-Blázquez, 2017;Leichenko, 2011;Meerow and Newell, 2019;Rana, 2020;Sharifi and Yamagata, 2018;Tyler and Moench, 2012;Woodruff et al., 2018). In part, the concept of resilience has risen in popularity because it transcends the traditional "predict and prevent" approach in favor of more proactive adaptation planning that recognizes the deep uncertainty and complexity of human-environment systems (Measham et al., 2011;Mehmood, 2016;Tyler and Moench, 2012). ...
... Operationalizing resilience, however, remains a challenging task within the planning profession. Although several attempts have been made (Keenan, 2018;Masnavi et al., 2019;Pizzo, 2015;Sellberg et al., 2018;Sharifi and Yamagata, 2018;Tyler et al., 2016), there are few agreed-on approaches. Based on the common themes present in the literature, we develop a new conceptual framework for integrating resilience into climate adaptation planning that consists of five key elements: system, collaboration, uncertainty, coping capacity, and adaptive capacity. ...
Resilience has increasingly become the principal management priority and planning goal for cities, especially for climate change adaptation. Yet few studies have evaluated whether and how well resilience are integrated into climate change adaptation planning. In this study, we first conceptualized resilience as five key elements (i.e., system, collaboration, uncertainty, coping capacity, and adaptive capacity) and developed a coding protocol based on these key elements. We then used it to evaluate a sample of 50 climate change plans in the United States (US) that has a major adaptation component. We found that the concept of resilience has not been adequately embedded in US climate change plans and that the predominant notions of resilience has limited influence on how well plans integrate resilience. We also found that standalone adaptation plans outperform hybrid plans in addressing uncertainty and fostering systems thinking. Ultimately, major barriers exist in translating the concept of resilience into climate change planning practice. We further offer implications for cities to more effectively plan for climate resilience.
... The concept also showcases increased connectivity at diverse human levels, thus, aiding in addressing social, economic, and political issues. This leads to the prospect of addressing environmental concerns, especially regarding resilience and adaptability, as is noted by recent indicators and frameworks within numerous smart city frameworks (Sharifi & Yamagata, 2018). ...
... The urban environment is comprised of many domains that require it to be resilient, and different associated characteristics are important in achieving this. Sharifi and Yamagata (2018) note that urban resilience can be discussed in the context of two types of shocks. One is against abrupt shocks that often occur as a result of such issues like climate variability, pandemic outbreaks, and others. ...
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As interest in smart city initiatives continues to grow rapidly, various involved actors and stakeholders increasingly rely on assessment frameworks or indicator sets for different purposes such as monitoring and benchmarking performance, identifying strengths and weaknesses, and determining priority intervention areas. Accordingly, many smart city assessment frameworks and/ or indicator sets have been developed in the last decade. To guide actors and stakeholders in their selection of the most suitable frameworks, several studies have examined contents and structure of smart city assessment frameworks or indicator sets. Such studies have significantly improved our understanding of the thematic focus of assessment tools and their methodological approaches. However, there is still a lack of knowledge on the taxonomy of smart city indicators. In addition, since other concepts such as sustainability and resilience are increasingly recognized to be connected to the smart city concept, more clarity on how different assessment frameworks or indicator sets are aligned with sustainability and resilience dimensions and characteristics is needed. To fill these gaps, we developed a taxonomy and examined 33 assessment frameworks or indicator sets in terms of indicator type, sectoral linkages, and alignment with sustainability and resilience dimensions and characteristics. In terms of indicator type, results show that output indicators are dominant but limited attention has been paid to impact indicators. In terms of sectoral focus, existing indicators are mainly related to information and communication technologies, economy, and governance. Regarding resilience abilities, indicators are mainly related to planning abilities and limited attention has been paid to recovery and adaptation. As for resilience characteristics, reasonable levels of alignment with resourcefulness and efficiency were observed, but indicators are not well-aligned with other important characteristics such as redundancy and diversity. Finally, in terms of sustainability, limited alignment with the environmental dimension was found, which raises concerns regarding the suitability of smart city indicators for guiding environmental sustainability and informing efforts aimed at addressing climate change issues. Results of this study can support interested stakeholders in their efforts to select the most suitable assessment frameworks or indicator sets for promoting resilient, smart, and sustainable communities.
... They have extended the concept of resilience to the urban micro-level and improved the ability of risk response. However, many scholars suggest that the study of resilience needs to be systematically combined with urban planning to explain the evolution of resilience from the perspective of urban construction (Kaerrholm 2014;Masnavi et al. 2018;Yamagata and Sharifi 2018). ...
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This research uses panel data of cities in Jiangsu from 2009 to 2018 to construct a resilience framework that measures the level of urban resilience. A combination of the entropy method, Theil index, Moran ' sI , and the Spatial Durbin Model (SDM) is used to explore regional resilience development differences, the spatial correlation characteristics of urban resilience, and its influencing factors. The study finds that: (1) The spatial heterogeneity of regional resilience development is significant, as the overall level of resilience presents a spatial distribution pattern of descending from southern Jiangsu to central Jiangsu and to northern Jiangsu. (2) The total Theil index shows a wave-like downward trend during the study period. The differences between southern Jiangsu, central Jiangsu, and northern Jiangsu make up the main reason for the overall difference of urban resilience in Jiangsu Province. Among the three regions, the gap in resilience development level within southern Jiangsu is the largest. (3) There is a clear positive spatial correlation between urban resilience in the province and an obvious agglomeration trend of urban resilience levels. Among all subsystems, urban ecological resilience is the weakest and needs to be further improved. (4) Lastly, among the five factors affecting urban resilience, general public fiscal expenditure/GDP, which characterizes government factors, has the largest positive impact on urban resilience, while foreign trade has a negative impact. In the following studies, the theme of urban resilience should be constantly deepened, and more extensive data monitoring should be carried out for the urban system to improve the diversity of data sources, so as to assess urban resilience more accurately. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s11069-022-05368-x.
... More than half of the world's population live in cities, and this amount is estimated to reach 66% by 2050 (Hernantes et al., 2018). Cities, as the most complex man-made structures around the world, are increasingly exposed to various types of hazards (Sharifi & Yamagata, 2018), so that today the growth of urban development has led to the emergence of many facilities which has consequently led to the increased critical factors. Today's urban societies, especially the developing ones, face a complex range of social, environmental, economic, etc. challenges against natural hazards (Sharifi, 2019). ...
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Urban environmental management is an effective tool which aims at urban development inline with environmental, social and economic values. The present study aims to provide an environmental management model of Bandar Abbas with an emphasis on ecosystem resilience. The research has been conducted in several steps, the first of which includes the assessment and analysis of resilience of Bandar Abbas city in terms of environmental dimensions and components based on the selection of environmental indicators and components in accordance with the opinions of urban issues experts and access to the available data and information resources, estimation and evaluation of the resilience status of indicators and components of the city. The second step presents the regression equation of resilience under the influence of environmental indicators and components. Also, the third step provides a strategy for the resilience, given the frequency of strategies ranking by the experts and the current environmental situation of Bandar Abbas. The results of the overall resilience assessment indicated that Bandar Abbas is of favorable resilience in terms of the climate, water and soil, vegetation, water, air, water quality and air quality indicators and components, while being of unfavorable resilience situation in terms of the institutional-functional index, citizens’ culture and awareness, waste, sewage and trash management. In general, the environmental resilience situation of Bandar Abbas city was found to be favorable with an estimated value of 3.29 and in a good situation against environmental crises. Finally, an environmental management model has been presented along with the effective strategies from the perspective of Urban Issues experts to improve the resilience of Bandar Abbas city.
... The apparent increase in the negative impacts of climate change has motivated policy makers and city leaders to prioritize urban development to be climate resilient; this is regarded as a paradigm shift from sustainable urbanism to climate urbanism (Long and Rice 2019), sustainable urban development to climate-resilient urban development. The concept of urban resilience has been progressively receiving the attention of researchers and policy makers alike in the past two decades (Sharifi and Yamagata 2018a;Sharifi 2020). This has involved formulating sets of indicators developing methods and tools for urban resilience assessment (Sharifi 2016;Sharifi and Yamagata 2017). ...
The study develops a conceptual urban resilience framework by integrating the pentagram sustainability dimension model with the identified dimensions of urban resilience, consolidating technology and temporal dynamism at the nexus of human interactions and climate change. The study instruments an expert and stakeholder knowledge matrix for highlighting the economic, social, cultural and institutional perspectives of climate change and considers the local adaptation capacities of individuals in an urban eco-sensitive area (UESA) that has been overlooked in the scope of urban resilience studies. The study conducts a situational analysis of UESA of the Ramsar-protected site of East Kolkata Wetlands (EKW) along the eastern periphery of Kolkata, a mega-city in India. The study detects the change in LULC of the UESA using Landsat 8 satellite images, adopting supervised classification techniques in ArcGIS. The study offers a set of recommendations for enhancing the resilient abilities of UESA and concludes with a discourse on resilience during pandemics.
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A methodology for mainstreaming Climate Change in Town Planning using a three-layered participatory approach that combines the local Urban Planning process analysis, a Vulnerability Assessment, and Ecosystem Services mapping. The guidelines were developed according to inputs and contributions provided during the project “Mainstreaming Climate Change in Town planning in Myanmar”.
The global ambition of making cities resilient is leading to growing attention towards evaluation frameworks that can assess and communicate the performance of cities in terms of resilience. This perspective requires appropriate approaches and tools which consider complexity, multidimensionality and dynamic behaviour of urban resilience over time. In this context, the System Dynamics Model (SDM) is a suitable tool to analyse and evaluate urban resilience as part of its main characteristics. This paper firstly provides a literature review on the application of SDM in the field of urban resilience assessment in order to underline both the strengths and the weaknesses that characterise the implementations currently available in the literature. Secondly, the article proposes a methodological framework to build a comprehensive multidimensional SDM to assess urban resilience. The final part of the paper provides a specific literature review that collects in a single framework the existing applications of SDM that analyse and model urban resilience issues related to economic, social, environmental and infrastructure dimensions of urban systems. This review is helpful to understand how different urban elements can be characterised and described through mathematical equations. Thus, it provides a basis for a multidimensional SDM to assess urban resilience and identify the mutual interdependences among the considered urban variables.
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Resilience is a multi-faceted concept frequently used across a wide range of disciplines, practices, and sectors. There is a growing recognition of the utility of resilience as a bridging concept that can facilitate inter-and transdisciplinary approaches to tackle complexities inherent in decision making under conditions of risk and uncertainty. Such conditions are common in urban planning, infrastructure planning, asset management, emergency planning, crisis management, and development processes where systemic interdependencies and interests at stake influence decisions and outcomes. A major challenge that can undermine the use of resilience for guiding planning activities is the value-laden and contested nature of the concept that can be interpreted in a variety of ways. Because resilience is context-specific and generally depends on local aspirations, this issue can be partially tackled by adopting participatory approaches for the conceptualization of resilience. This paper provides an example of how co-design methods can be employed for conceptualizing resilience. The Structured Interview Matrix was used as a technique to facilitate discussions among a diverse group of researchers and practitioners attending the International Workshop on Tools and Indicators for Assessing Urban Resilience. Participants deliberated on issues related to constituent elements of urban resilience, including its position vis-à-vis concepts such as adaptation and sustainability, institutional factors that can enable/constrain resilience building, and the challenges of conducting and operationalizing urban resilience assessment. This paper can be considered as an initial step towards further exploration of participatory approaches for clarifying the underlying dimensions of complex concepts such as resilience.
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Local and traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) systems are thought to be particularly valuable for fostering adaptation and resilience to environmental and climate change. This paper investigates the role of TEK in adaptation to social–ecological change at the community level. It is unique because it takes a longitudinal perspective and draws on historical and contemporary data. We focus on a case study from Hawai‘i where TEK, cultural identity, and their relationships to environmental stewardship are locally seen as the basis for social resilience. We describe how coping strategies and indicators of social resilience have changed over time; the role of TEK in resilience; and the implications for climate change adaptation. Our results show the relative contributions of some strategies to cope with social–ecological change have decreased (e.g., forecasting, storage, and mobility), while others have maintained but adapted (e.g., livelihood diversification, knowledge transmission and storage, communal pooling, and cultural identity), underscoring the importance of considering multiple strategies together to promote community resilience. The article argues that understanding how people responded in the past can suggest relevant and culturally appropriate ways—through specific language, values, reference points, and indicators expressed in narratives, proverbs, and songs—of situating climate change and framing adaptation planning. This research also shows that TEK is vital for adaptation to environmental change broadly and climate change in particular, for subsistence-based, indigenous, rural communities, as well as place-based communities living in mixed economies. Thus, it is relevant for the larger Pacific Islands region and other areas that represent a continuum from rural-to-urban and traditional-to-global economies and lifeways.
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Damages to urban systems as a result of water-related natural disasters have escalated in recent years. The observed trend is expected to increase in the future as the impacts of population growth, rapid urbanization and climate change persist. To alleviate the damages associated with these impacts, it is recommended to integrate disaster management methods into planning, design and operational policies under all levels of government. This manuscript proposes the concept of ResilSIM: A decision support tool that rapidly estimates the resilience (a modern disaster management measure that is dynamic in time and space) of an urban system to the consequences of natural disasters. The web-based tool (with mobile access) operates in near real-time. It is designed to assist decision makers in selecting the best options for integrating adaptive capacity into their communities to protect against the negative impacts of a hazard. ResilSIM is developed for application in Toronto and London, Ontario, Canada; however, it is only demonstrated for use in the city of London, which is susceptible to riverine flooding. It is observed how the incorporation of different combinations of adaptation options maintain or strengthen London’s basic structures and functions in the event of a flood.
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Understanding how to accommodate the ‘resilience thinking’ approach in the planning of cities is critical for the adaptation of urban environments to extreme natural events. From both a conceptual and applied perspective, this study explored whether or not the resilience thinking approach has been addressed in urban planning; Mehuín, Chile, was used as a case study. The methodology involved a qualitative review of planning tools to analyze the extent to which urban resilience attributes (e.g. diversity and redundancy) are addressed in the planning documents. Additionally, the resilience dimensions (i.e. physical, environmental and social) of the urban environment of Mehuín were quantitatively evaluated. The findings indicated that the environmental dimension has the greatest influence on the adaptive capacity of Mehuín; however, this is not addressed in the urban planning tools. These divergent results are further discussed with respect to the potential challenges that could arise in current planning science, as we know it.
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Currently, most tools, guidelines and benchmarks for urban adaptation raise awareness on climate change impacts, assess the city’s vulnerability and/or address the need for adaptation on a policy-level. However, tools that have the ability to implement adaptation solutions in the actual urban planning and design practice seem to be missing. We developed and tested the Adaptation Planning Support Toolbox (APST) to fill this gap. This toolbox supports local policymakers, planners, designers and practitioners in defining the program of demands, in setting adaptation targets, in selecting from more than 60 blue, green and grey adaptation measures and with informed co-creation of conceptual adaptation plans. The APST provides quantitative, evidence-based performance information on (cost)effectiveness of adaptation measures regarding climate resilience and co-benefits. The APST can be used design workshops, to feed dialogues among stakeholders on where and how which ecosystem-based adaptation measures can be applied. Applications of the AST in various settings and context in cities on different continents have illustrated the added value of the toolbox in bringing policy and practice together with help of science. With more and more cities worldwide that will make the step from policymaking to actual adaptation-inclusive urban (re)development practice we foresee a growing demand for such tools.
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For resilience building, cities need to foster learning and innovation processes among all actors in order to develop transformative capacities of urban governance regimes to manage extraordinary situations as well as continuous change. A close collaboration of urban governmental actors and citizens is, therefore, of high importance. This paper explores two different discourses on urban governance: participation and self-organized collective action for the management of the commons. Both address the involvement of citizens into governance, albeit from different perspectives: on the one hand from the viewpoint of the government, selectively handing some of its power over to citizens, on the other hand from the perspective of citizens who self-organize for a collective management of urban commons. Based on experiences in the Austrian city of Korneuburg, it is argued that the collective action literature may help overcome some of the self-criticisms and shortcomings of the participation discourse. More specifically, Elinor Ostrom's design principles for the management of the commons provide valuable input to overcome restrictions in thinking about citizen participation and to effectively design institutions for long-term urban co-management.
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The concept of resilience is increasingly used in academic and policy circles. To operationalize this concept and reduce the ambiguities surrounding it, since the turn of the century, various resilience assessment methodologies have been introduced. This paper provides a critical review of 36 selected community resilience assessment tools. These tools have been developed by a variety of entities, including national and local organizations, international donor organizations, and academic researchers. First, an overview of the selected tools is presented. This overview analysis shows that while some commonalities exist, there are also considerable differences between the tools. Next, based on literature review, an analytical framework is developed that identifies six criteria for evaluating performance of resilience assessment tools. These are, namely, addressing multiple dimensions of resilience, accounting for cross-scale relationships, capturing temporal dynamism, addressing uncertainties, employing participatory approaches, and developing action plans. Results show that limited success has been achieved in addressing these criteria. In terms of comprehensiveness, the environmental dimension has received relatively less attention in spite of its significance for building community resilience. Further improvements are needed to account for dynamics over time and across space. More attention to employing iterative processes that involve scenario-based planning is needed to better address challenges associated with uncertainties. Results also show that more attention needs to be paid to stakeholder participation in developing assessment tools. The paper concludes by highlighting several other areas of weakness that need to be addressed and discussing major challenges that still remain.
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This study presents a conceptual framework for analyzing urban resilience in the context of climate change. The key conceptual elements of resilience are first identified and then reorganized with a focus on cities and climate change adaptation. This study covers not only ecological and engineering resilience but also resilience as a sociopolitical process from an evolutionary perspective. The study's conceptual framework centers on resilience as it relates to cities and climate change. Its findings are expected to shed light on future urban planning and policies for adapting to climate change.
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Between 60% and 80% of global energy is consumed in urban areas and given the projected increase in world׳s urban population, this share is expected to further increase in the future. Continuity of energy supply in cities is affected by climate change and a growing array of other threats such as cyber attacks, terrorism, technical deficiencies, and market volatility. Determined efforts, acknowledging the interactions and interlinkages between energy and other sectors, are needed to avoid adverse consequences of disruption in energy supply. Resilience thinking is an approach to management of socio-ecological systems that aims to develop an integrated framework for bringing together the (often) fragmented, diverse research on disaster risk management. The literature on urban resilience is immense and still growing. This paper reviews literature related to energy resilience to develop a conceptual framework for assessing urban energy resilience, identify planning and design criteria that can be used for assessing urban energy resilience, and examine the relationship of these criteria with the underlying components of the conceptual framework. In the conceptual framework, it is proposed that in order to be resilient, urban energy system needs to be capable of “planning and preparing for”, “absorbing”, “recovering from”, and “adapting” to any adverse events that may happen in the future. Integrating these four abilities into the system would enable it to continuously address “availability”, “accessibility”, “affordability”, and “acceptability” as the four sustainability-related dimensions of energy. The paper explains different resilience principles associated with these abilities and sustainability dimensions. Also, different planning and design criteria were extracted from the literature and categorized into five themes: infrastructure; resources; land use, urban geometry and morphology; governance; and socio-demographic aspects and human behavior. Examination of the relationship of these criteria with the underlying components of the conceptual framework highlighted the complexity and multi-faceted nature of energy resilience. Exploration of the relevance of the identified criteria to climate change mitigation and adaptation revealed that most of the identified criteria can provide both mitigation and adaptation benefits.