Ayyoob Sharifi & Yoshiki Yamagata, Global Carbon Project, Tsukuba, Japan

Presentation Title: Principles and criteria for urban resilience: A critical analysis of the literature




The notion of resilience is rapidly gaining ground in the urban sustainability literature. This presentation reported on the preliminary results of a critical analysis of a large number of peer-reviewed papers on urban resilience. Through this analysis, the study introduced a set of principles and criteria that can be used to develop an urban resilience assessment index. Development of an assessment framework for evaluating the extent of resiliency of urban areas can be an effective way of incorporating resiliency-related issues into urban planning processes. It is important to identify resilience-related principles and criteria that should be embedded into the assessment framework. Criteria for assessment of the resilience of urban areas are divided into several main themes that cover various dimensions of sustainability. These themes are further broken down into major criteria to account for a variety of resilience-related aspects. The resilience assessment index has the capacity to provide decisionmakers with a clear and comprehensive picture of the resilience of a development proposal and supports them in making better informed decisions. Results indicate that, on many occasions, making trade-offs between different resilience criteria would be inevitable.

Key Lessons Learned

  • A large volume of research exists on urban resilience, but it is mainly discipline-based.
  • Adaptation aspects of resilience have not received enough attention.
  • There are no appropriate metrics and indices for assessing the resilience of cities.
  • Such indices can play the role of a decision support system and facilitate a more informed decisionmaking process.

Policy/Practice Implications of Research

‘Resilience’ is somewhat of a buzzword, similar to ‘sustainability’, however, whereas the latter has many assessment systems or toolkits, the former does not. Through understanding the main principles of resilience (both mitigation and adaptation), a practical toolkit that includes criteria and indicators could be developed for policymakers.

Knowledge Gaps and Needs

  • Develop Indicators which can be quantified for easy delivery to policymakers.