In the EcoDA project, we use the term ‘urban resilience’ to refer to the processes of urban transformation through new cultural, economic and social practices, involving ethical, ecological and equitable uses of urban resources in the face of an uncertain future.
We consider that this conceptualization of urban resilience involves three key dimensions: situated, mediated and networked:
We understand urban resilience as a situated process emerging from local conditions, specific to a particular urban context and its resources – what makes that particular place resilient and not resilience in generic, or abstract, terms. Furthermore, we see urban resilience as a mediated process, which is initiated, made visible and enhanced by local actors (such as, organisations and communities but also policies, technologies and physical spaces). At the same time, urban resilience requires broader institutional and cultural changes so that local resilience initiatives can flourish, become embedded in everyday life and result in new civic practices. We believe that such significant changes cannot happen unless multiple knowledges arising from diverse local implementations of resilience are connected as part of wider networks so that they become strategic in pursuing common goals and ultimately lead to change.
These three dimensions of urban resilience are informed by a transdisciplinary body of literature and brought together in our proposition of ‘open-source urban resilience‘, which combines the following three aspects:
1) The connected ‘local’ as a significant site for resilience experimentation and learning, through first-hand experience and the re-localization of the means for knowledge production;
2) Open-source, commons-based peer production as a potential path towards radical transformation for greater resilience; and
3) Collaborative technologies as promising tools for connecting distributed local resilience initiatives across scales and locations, and co-producing strategies with the potential to enable system change.