JSI RESOURCES: Publications

What Do We Mean By Urban Resilience? A Rapid Resource Review


Urban residents and environments are increasingly subject to climate change-related shocks and stresses like natural disasters, pandemics, and famine. These events make communities vulnerable, accelerate poverty, and undermine long-term economic and social well-being. Developing resilient urban planning and management strategies is one important way to protect these vulnerable communities. However, policymakers and practitioners struggle to apply resilience thinking to urban planning and management because there is no consensus on how to define, measure, or achieve resilience in urban settings. Moreover, there is limited evidence on the effectiveness and impact of resilience interventions on urban systems and communities. In recent years, actors such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), UN organizations, the World Bank, OECD, non-governmental organizations, foundations, regional organizations, and academic alliances have developed frameworks, checklists, and tools (resources) for assessing or enhancing urban resilience. These resources vary widely in their definition of resilience, goals, theoretical lens, and the extent to which these resources are applied to an urban context. This brief provides a literature review on 40 urban resilience resources and highlights opportunities for the development, implementation, and evaluation of applied resilience projects such as the USAID-funded Asia Resilient Cities (ARC) Project.

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