Urban resilience has been emerging as a necessary quality of our cities in order to anticipate, recover from, and adapt to shocks and stresses. Advocated by the most prominent international agendas and frameworks dealing with urban development, resilience is nowadays coupled with other key urban goals, as the one of sustainability. Unfortunately, notwithstanding the sprawl of resilience, many “resilient city” initiatives are failing to integrate local communities or sustainability goals within their strategies. In some cases, this has induced environmental and climate gentrification, or reinforced ‘business as usual’ and unsustainable patterns of developments, while tackling and reducing specific risks and vulnerabilities.
As a consequence, experiences of “building resilient cities” remain fragmented, characterized by a variety of resilience trade-offs (i.e. addressing resilience to drought through desalination plants, while inducing to a reduction of energy resilience and sustainability). This highlights the need for a more integrated and inclusive approach to design and manage urban resilience, addressing climatic, environmental, socio-economic challenges while minimizing trade-offs among them, and maximizing synergies between resilience and sustainability.
Research on urban resilience is partly responsible for the urban resilience implementation gap. This is partly because of a lack of agreed and integrated multidisciplinary perspectives, frameworks and metrics to support design and governance for urban resilience. Because of this, the International Forum on Urbanism (IFoU), in partnership with UIC Barcelona, the Urban Resilience research Network (URNet) and the UN Habitat City Resilience profiling Program, will dedicate its 11th annual conference to help bridging this gap between research and practice, and moving towards more integrated perspectives on urban resilience implementation.
In order to reach a global audience involved within the debates, the annual conference has been framed within two interconnected international events: a first congress in Barcelona, taking place during the Barcelona Resilience Week (the week in which the city celebrate its experience in resilience with a range of public activities from 10 to 15 December 2018) and a second one a few months later, in Jakarta, Indonesia.