Tuesday 6
Resilience assessment in practice : a dialogue to share insights from case studies and evaluate assessment approaches
A. Quinlan, P. Ryan
› 15:45 - 16:40 (55min)
› Antigone 1
Resilience in Practice for Strategic Planning at Municipal Level
Louise Hard Af Segerstad  1, *@  , My Sellberg  2, *@  , Cathy Wilkinson  3@  
1 : Albaeco  -  Website
Kräftriket 2B, 106 91 Stockholm -  Suède
2 : Stockholm Resilience Centre  (SRC)
3 : Victorian Government Department of Sustainability and Environment
* : Corresponding author

insession Resilience assessment in practice.

When the world is facing the uncertain consequences of climate change, financial crises and peak oil, policy-makers in cities and local governments are increasingly turning to the concept of resilience. The UN campaign of "Making Cities Resilient" and the Transition Town movement are examples of the expanding policy interest in resilience. However, there are few empirical studies of how resilience thinking could inform planning processes in urban settings. The Resilience Assessment Workbook is a method of how to assess the resilience of a social-ecological system developed by the Resilience Alliance, but few performed assessments have been studied empirically.We have addressed this gap by performing a resilience assessment based on the workbook in the Swedish municipality of Eskilstuna, and simultaneously studying that very process. The Eskilstuna Resilience Assessment targeted the resilience of four focal systems: food supply, water supply, transportation and employment, to the global threats mentioned above, as well as the challenge of staying within planetary boundaries. The principal part of the assessment was conducted during a two-day workshop with 23 representatives from the municipality. The planning team of the assessment assumed that there would be a partial overlap with the strategic municipal planning addressing preparedness for crises and sustainable development. Therefore, we studied how the assessment contributed to these aspects of the strategic planning, by conducting participant observation of the resilience assessment process, semi-structured interviews with the organizers at the municipality, as well as key participants from other departments, a review of the official municipal documents and a survey to the workshop participants. 

The Eskilstuna Resilience Assessment generated learning of the key concepts and assumptions of resilience thinking, as well as a common understanding of their system, regarding e.g. the dynamics of change and the interconnectedness between different parts. The participants thought the resilience assessment strengthened the existing, holistic perspective of sustainable development, but also that it introduced a new mindset of complex adaptive systems. Planning practitioners thought the ideas of threshold effects and alternate regimes could be useful for e.g. providing new arguments to hinder slowly degrading trends, as well as clarifying the picture of a sustainable society. Regarding preparedness for crises, the resilience assessment framed the need to prepare for uncertain, global threats, which had previously been overlooked in the municipality, and provided a framework that bridged the short-term crisis management and longer-term planning for sustainable development.This case shows how the Resilience Assessment Workbook, with the embedded idea of complex adaptive systems, could contribute with a new and useful mindset to strategic planning in a local government. It further shows that the workbook's approach to assessing resilience has value also in local government contexts further from the natural resource management settings where it has mostly been used. Therefore, there is a clear potential in developing the workbook for a planning or local government audience. However, it would need to be complemented by e.g. integrating more research on threshold effects in social and economic systems, as well as more examples from urban contexts.


Online user: 1 RSS Feed