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Recasting resilience beyond 'failure management': Lessons for planning our cities

Gopinath, Deepak



Much recently, the term 'resilience' has generated considerable interest. But, it is rather hard to pin down what it means. Equally challenging is in knowing what the scope of resilience might be and how/whether such an understanding might help address challenges facing our cities, e.g., impacts of climate change, lack of employment opportunities, etc. I argue that in contemporary debates, resilience has been cast largely within the gamut of 'failure management'. Consequently, two challenges emerge. How is failure/success defined, and by whom? This is problematic because: a) failure management by adopting a static notion of resilience does not effectively deal with changes taking place in cities; b) there is the insider-outsider tension in terms of deciding whose failure reflects lack of resilience. Alternatively, a 'pathways to resilience' approach is suggested that sets out, an 'insider' definition of resilient behaviour, that has the potential to adapt if needed, with time.


Gopinath, D. (2015). Recasting resilience beyond 'failure management': Lessons for planning our cities. International Journal of Society Systems Science, 7(2), 127

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 4, 2015
Publication Date May 30, 2015
Journal International Journal of Society Systems Science
Print ISSN 1756-2511
Publisher Inderscience
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Issue 2
Pages 127
Keywords resilience, pathways, wellbeing, success, failure management, sustainability, cities, urban planning, sustainable development, resilient behaviour, society
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