Urban Resilience Thinking. Dealing with Epistemic Uncertainty in Smart City Development

Ufer, Ulrich and Ottenburger, Sadeeb Simon (2021) Urban Resilience Thinking. Dealing with Epistemic Uncertainty in Smart City Development. CITIES 20.50 – Creating Habitats for the 3rd Millennium: Smart – Sustainable – Climate Neutral. Proceedings of REAL CORP 2021, 26th International Conference on Urban Development, Regional Planning and Information Society. pp. 1007-1013. ISSN 2521-3938

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The term resilience is used in various contexts where it is mostly considered within the boundaries of the system under consideration. Relevance of resilience thinking is emphasized in the UN Sustainable Development Goals– especially Sustainable Cities and Communities and Climate Action– and the UN Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, which explicitly mentions resilience as a keypriority. Thus, resilience and system transformations must be considered together if sustainability developments should prevail in the long-term. We propose Urban Resilience Thinkingas a design approach that sensitizes for transformational dynamics on different temporal scales from the short-term to thelong-term, for relations between physical resilience and socio-cultural issues of urban well-being, and for interdependencies between local urban resilience and global sustainability. Crucial to Urban Resilience Thinking is the consideration of potential multiple stable states in urban socio-technical systems, which poses questions with regard to dynamics of transformation between stable states, but also – more fundamentally – with regard to the criteria and values that define notions of systemic stability, risk and resilience. In a world of changing boundary conditions (e.g. climate change) and fundamentally changing socio-technical urban systems, neither the frequency nor the consequences of various future risks can be reliably determined. This can be illustrated by the unpredictability of future urban supply risks, e.g. power supply, in smart cities with increasingly digitalized, automated and more interconnected services systems including critical services. Adding to such looming epistemic uncertainty we point to the phenomenon of creeping urban risks, such as risks associated with the built up of smart urban infrastructure, which are likely to shapefuture urban risk cultures through citizens’ gradual accommodation to emergent risks. Eventually, and in spite of short-term reactions to immediate risks in smart cities, it is creeping urban risks that deserve more research attention.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: socio-technical systems, Smart City, resilience thinking, smart grid, urban risk cultures
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Depositing User: REAL CORP Administrator
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2021 21:02
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2021 17:52
URI: http://repository.corp.at/id/eprint/827

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