Climate Action

Living Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho, Anabela Marisa Azul, Luciana Brandli, Pinar Gökcin Özuyar, Tony Wall

Resilient Cities and Regions: Planning, Initiatives, and Perspectives

  • Diletta Acuti
  • Marco BellucciEmail author
Living reference work entry


Resiliency signifies the capability of systems – like cities and regions – to withstand a shock and adapt to it by gradually returning to the normal state or by evolving into a better one.

In recent years, the popularity of resilience has become a mainstream topic in both academic and policy discourse (Brown 2014). This word has particularly emerged as an appealing perspective on cities, which are often theorized as highly complex, adaptive systems (Meerow et al. 2016). The etymological roots of “resilience” stem from the Latin word resilire, which means “to bounce back,” and refer to the ability of an organism or a system to recover a position after a disturbance (Klein et al. 2003; Oliva and Lazzeretti 2017). The word originally featured in metallurgy: It indicates a metal’s ability to resist the forces applied to it. In the 1960s it entered the field of ecology, which defined resilience as “the magnitude of the disturbance that can be absorbed before the system changes...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Ahern J (2013) Urban landscape sustainability and resilience: the promise and challenges of integrating ecology with urban planning and design. Landsc Ecol 28(6):1203–1212CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barnett J (2001) Adapting to climate change in Pacific Island countries: the problem of uncertainty. World Dev 29:977–993CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bebbington J, Unerman J (2018) Achieving the United Nations sustainable development goals: an enabling role for accounting research. Account Audit Account J 31(1):2–24. Scholar
  4. Becken S, Khazai B (2017) Resilience, tourism and disasters. In: Tourism and resilience. CAB International, Oxfordshire, p 96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bellucci M, Manetti G (2018) Stakeholder engagement and sustainability reporting. Routledge, Londra. ISBN:978-0-8153-7315-5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Biggeri M, Ferrannini A (2014) Sustainable human development: a new territorial and people-centred perspective. Palgrave Macmillan, LondonGoogle Scholar
  7. Biggeri M, Ballet J, Comim F (2011) Children and the capability approach. Palgrave Macmillan, BasingstokeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Biggeri M, Testi E, Bellucci M (2017) Enabling ecosystems for social enterprises and social innovation: a capability approach perspective. J Hum Dev Capab 18:299–306. ISSN:1945–2829CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bini L, Bellucci M, Giunta F (2018) Integrating sustainability in business model disclosure: evidence from the UK mining industry. J Clean Prod 171:1161–1170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Brown K (2014) Global environmental change I: a social turn for resilience? Prog Hum Geogr 38(1):107–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bulkeley H (2010) Cities and the governing of climate change. Annu Rev Environ Resour 35:229–253CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Carpenter S, Walker B, Anderies JM, Abel N (2001) From metaphor to measurement: resilience of what to what? Ecosystems 4:765–781CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Coaffee J (2013) Rescaling and responsibilising the politics of urban resilience: from national security to local place-making. Politics 33(4):240–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Committee on Climate Change (2010) Building a low-carbon economy – the UK’s innovation challenge. Retrieved on
  15. Cook EA (2002) Landscape structure indices for assessing urban ecological networks. Landsc Urban Plan 58(2–4):269–280CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Cumming GS (2011) Spatial resilience: integrating landscape ecology, resilience, and sustainability. Landsc Ecol 26(7):899–909CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Crane A, Matten D (2016) Engagement required: the changing role of the corporation in society. In: Barton D, Horvath D, Kipping M (eds) Re-imagining capitalism: building a responsible, long-term model. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  18. Davic RD, Welsh HH Jr (2004) On the ecological roles of salamanders. Annu Rev Ecol Evol Syst 35(2004):405–434CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. De Jong M, Joss S, Schraven D, Zhan C, Weijnen M (2015) Sustainable-smart-resilient-low carbon-eco-knowledge cities making sense of a multitude of concepts promoting sustainable urbanization. J Clean Prod 109:25–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Desouza KC, Flanery TH (2013) Designing, planning, and managing resilient cities: a conceptual framework. Cities 35:89–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Edwards A (2007) Working collaboratively to build resilience: A CHAT approach. Soc Policy Soc 6(2):255–264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Erkip F, Kızılgün Ö, Akinci GM (2014) Retailers’ resilience strategies and their impacts on urban spaces in Turkey. Cities 36:112–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Farrell BH, Twining-Ward L (2004) Reconceptualizing tourism. Ann Tour Res 31(2):274–295CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Flintoff J-P (2013) Local, self-sufficient, optimistic: are transition towns the way forward? The Guardian. Retrieved on
  25. Godschalk DR (2003) Urban hazard mitigation: creating resilient cities. Nat Hazards Rev 4(3):136–143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gunderson LH (2000) Ecological resilience in theory and practice. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 31:425–439CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gunderson L, Holling CS (2001) Panarchy: understanding transformations in human and natural systems. Island Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  28. Hepcan Ş, Hepcan ÇC, Bouwma IM, Jongman RH, Özkan MB (2009) Ecological networks as a new approach for nature conservation in Turkey: a case study of Izmir Province. Landsc Urban Plan 90(3–4):143–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Holling CS (1973) Resilience and stability of ecological systems. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 4:1–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Holling CS (1996) Engineering resilience versus ecological resilience. Eng Ecol Constraints 31(1996):32Google Scholar
  31. Hudson R (2010) Resilient regions in an uncertain world: wishful thinking or a practical reality? Camb J Reg Econ Soc 3(1):11–25CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hyslop M (2007) Critical information infrastructures: resilience and protection. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  33. Jabareen Y (2013) Planning the resilient city: concepts and strategies for coping with climate change and environmental risk. Cities 31:220–229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Johnson CA (2018) Resilient cities? The global politics of urban climate adaptation adaptation. In: The power of cities in global climate politics. Palgrave Macmillan, London, pp 91–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Johnson C, Blackburn S (2014) Advocacy for urban resilience: UNISDR’s making cities resilient campaign. Environ Urban 26(1):29–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Jones P, Comfort D (2018) Sustainable consumption and the leading US retailers. Indones J CSR Environ Manag 1(1):1–15Google Scholar
  37. Kawakubo S, Murakami S, Ikaga T, Asami Y (2018) Sustainability assessment of cities: SDGs and GHG emissions. Build Res Inf 46(5):528–539CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Klein RJ, Nicholls RJ, Thomalla F (2003) Resilience to natural hazards: how useful is this concept? Global Environ Change B Environ Hazard 5(1–2):35–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Koch F, Ahmad S (2018) How to measure progress towards an inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable city? Reflections on applying the indicators of sustainable development goal 11 in Germany and India. In: Urban transformations. Springer, Cham, pp 77–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Lawrence F (2007) Pioneering Welsh town begins the transition to a life without oil, as the supply of cheap fuel dwindles, rural Lampeter embarks on ‘energy descent’. The Guardian. Retrieved on
  41. Lee YJ (2014) Social vulnerability indicators as a sustainable planning tool. Environ Impact Assess Rev 44:31–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Leichenko R (2011) Climate change and urban resilience. Curr Opin Environ Sustain 3(3):164–168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Leitner H, Sheppard E, Webber S, Colven E (2018) Globalizing urban resilience. Urban Geogr:1–9Google Scholar
  44. Lew AA, Ng PT, Ni CC, Wu TC (2016) Community sustainability and resilience: Similarities, differences and indicators. Tourism Geogr 18(1):18–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Lovell ST, Johnston DM (2009) Creating multifunctional landscapes: how can the field of ecology inform the design of the landscape? Front Ecol Environ 7(4):212–220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Luederitz C, Lang DJ, Von Wehrden H (2013) A systematic review of guiding principles for sustainable urban neighborhood development. Landsc Urban Plan 118:40–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Mal S, Singh RB, Huggel C, Grover A (2018) Introducing linkages between climate change, extreme events, and disaster risk reduction. In: Climate change, extreme events and disaster risk reduction. Springer, Cham, pp 1–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. McCarthy IP, Collard M, Johnson M (2017) Adaptive organizational resilience: an evolutionary perspective. Curr Opin Environ Sustain 28:33–40. Scholar
  49. Meerow S, Newell JP, Stults M (2016) Defining urban resilience: a review. Landsc Urban Plan 147:38–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Mileti D (1999) Disasters by design: a reassessment of natural hazards in the United States. Joseph Henry Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  51. Munich RE (2017) Natural catastrophes 2016: analyses, assessments, positions, topics geo, 2017 issue, MunichGoogle Scholar
  52. Oliva S, Lazzeretti L (2017) Adaptation, adaptability and resilience: the recovery of Kobe after the great Hanshin earthquake of 1995. Eur Plan Stud 25(1):67–87. Scholar
  53. Oliva S, Lazzeretti L (2018) Measuring the economic resilience of natural disasters: an analysis of major earthquakes in Japan. City Cult Soc, first online 15:53–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Peng C, Yuan M, Gu C, Peng Z, Ming T (2017) A review of the theory and practice of regional resilience. Sustain Cities Soc 29:86–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Resilient Cities (2018) Principles. Retrieved on
  56. Rockefeller Foundation (2018)
  57. Roos PB (2014) Regenerative-adaptive design: patterns to coastal resilience. In: Practical responses to climate change conference 2014. Engineers Australia, Barton, p 37Google Scholar
  58. Rosenzweig C, Solecki WD, Romero-Lankao P, Mehrotra S, Dhakal S, Ibrahim SA (eds) (2018) Climate change and cities: second assessment report of the urban climate change research network. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  59. Spaans M, Waterhout B (2017) Building up resilience in cities worldwide–Rotterdam as participant in the 100 resilient cities Programme. Cities 61:109–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Swiss RE (2017) Natural catastrophes and man-made disasters in 2016: a year of widespread damages, sigma, p. 2.
  61. Testi E, Bellucci M, Franchi S, Biggeri M (2017) Italian social enterprises at the crossroads: their role in the evolution of the welfare state. Volunt Int J Volunt Nonprofit Org 28(6):2403–2422CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Transition Network (2018) What is transition. Retrieved on
  63. United Nations (2015) Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, New York: United Nations, New York,
  64. URBACT (2018) European cities joining forces to improve city resilience. Retrieved on
  65. Walker BH, Anderies JM, Kinzig AP et al (2006) Exploring resilience in social-ecological systems: comparative studies and theory development. CSIRO Publishing, CollingwoodGoogle Scholar
  66. Watson B (2014) What makes a city resilient? The Guardian. Retrieved on
  67. Zhang X, Li H (2018) Urban resilience and urban sustainability: what we know and what do not know? Cities 72:141–148CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics and ManagementUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly

Section editors and affiliations

  • Federica Doni

There are no affiliations available