Dimensions and Measurement of City Resilience in Theory and in Practice

Yumei Chen, Yingxin Huang, Kangchen Li, Luis F. Luna-Reyes
May 28, 2019


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Current trends on urbanization and concerns on the frequency of natural disasters have promoted increased interest in the concept of City Resilience among Smart City scholars and other researchers in Urban Studies. Cities with strong resilience have a strong ability to adapt to disturbances. 

A key research issue involves the development of frameworks to better understand and measure the levels of resilience in a city. This article explores the dimensions and measurement of city resilience. 

Using the multiple-case study method, we identify main topics in the plans of three cities, comparing them to the main domain categories identified in the city resilience literature: social resilience, economic resilience, community capital, institutional resilience, infrastructure resilience and environmental resilience. 

Our findings suggest that infrastructure and institutional resilience are generally considered as the most popular indicator across the cities. 

Second, every dimension of resiliency includes several sub-dimensions in the resilience framework, but some sub-dimensions are not mentioned in the resilience plans of the three cities. 

Third, the practice of these cities shows that in social resilience, the decision-makers should pay more attention to education and equity, public health services and social services and well-being, then in economic resilience, we should emphasize economic diversity, employment and economic recovery. 

A revised resilient city measurement model is suggested in the end of the paper.

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