Survey Report on Worldwide Approaches


January 2016


Amy Rankin (LiU), Magnus Bång (LiU)

Maider Sainz (Tecnun), Jaziar Radianti (CIEM), Johan Brage (LiU), Simon Rosenqvist (LiU), Leire Labaka (Tecnun), Josune Hernantes (Tecnun)



Lead Partner

Linköping University

Increasing our resilience to crises and disasters is a topic of highest political concern worldwide. Cities and communities need methods and tools to prevent and manage the effects of natural hazards such as floods, storms, earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis as well as man-made threats such as accidents and terrorism. The aim of the Smart Mature Resilience project is to deliver a Resilience Management Guideline to support city decision-makers in developing and implementing resilience measures in their cities in order for the cities to form an emerging resilience backbone for Europe. The overall objective of WP1 is to obtain an overview of current practice in urban resilience and EU sectorial resilience approaches, to identify, synthesize and assess the main challenges and best practice of today. This will be achieved through a worldwide survey of approaches and a literature overview of state-of-the-art resilience research to synthesize and ensure common ground of concept, methods and approaches.

This report is the result of the work carried out in the first task in WP1. The report includes (1) a systematic literature review of urban resilience, (2) a review of world-wide reports and networks related to urban resilience and, (3) a city survey of approaches and challenges for our SMR partner cities. The work in this task has been aimed at a deepening our understanding of resilience in the context of cities. The report will provide a basis for the SMR project when operationalising the concept of resilience to a practical level and urban context in the perspective of overall European resilience.

Results from the work in this task show that numerous perspectives and definitions of resilience can be found in the literature. The analysis indicates that research frameworks for urban resilience are abstract and difficult to directly apply to the urban planning and decision-making process. Moreover, present models fail to account for the link between different dimensions of resilience aspects that affect cities, such as social and economic. Since the concept of resilience is general, a challenge will be to define boundaries, dimensions, and tools for urban resilience in order for the perspective to be useful for community professionals. The study also revealed structural prerequisites and problems to implement resilient cities; political and financial support are important and much of policy and the related decision-making regarding the resilience is outside the jurisdiction of the city councils. Nevertheless, in future operationalizing’s of the resilience concept it is important to consider previous efforts made by organisation bodies outside research as well as including city professionals in this work.











This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 653569.