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Standardised indicators for “resilient cities”: the folly of devising a technical solution to a political problem

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 15:32 authored by Ksenia ChmutinaKsenia Chmutina, Gonzalo Lizarralde, Jason von Meding, Lee Bosher

Purpose

Driven by the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, decision makers have been striving to reorientate policy debates towards the aspiration of achieving urban resilience and monitoring the effectiveness of adaptive measures through the implementation of standardised indicators. Consequently, there has been a rise of indicator systems measuring resilience. This paper aims to argue that the ambition of making cities resilient does not always make them less vulnerable, more habitable, equitable and just.

Design/methodology/approach

Using an inductive policy analysis of ISO standard 37123:2019 “Sustainable cities and communities — Indicators for resilient cities”, the authors examine the extent to which the root causes of risks are being addressed by the urban resilience agenda.

Findings

The authors show that the current standardisation of resilience fails to adequately address the political dimension of disaster risk reduction, reducing resilience to a management tool and missing the opportunity to address the socio-political sources of risks.

Originality/value

Such critical analysis of the Standard is important as it moves away from a hazard-centric approach and, instead, permits to shed light on the socio-political processes of risk creation and to adopt a more nuanced and sensitive understanding of urban characteristics and governance mechanisms.

History

School

  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Published in

International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment

Volume

14

Issue

4

Pages

514-535

Publisher

Emerald

Version

  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© Emerald Publishing Limited

Publisher statement

This paper was accepted for publication in the journal International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1108/IJDRBE-10-2022-0099. This author accepted manuscript is deposited under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC) licence. This means that anyone may distribute, adapt, and build upon the work for non-commercial purposes, subject to full attribution. If you wish to use this manuscript for commercial purposes, please contact permissions@emerald.com

Acceptance date

2023-02-23

Publication date

2023-04-27

Copyright date

2023

ISSN

1759-5908

Language

  • en

Depositor

Prof Lee Bosher. Deposit date: 16 March 2023

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