This book challenges the concept of ‘urban resilience’ by exploring its impact and limitations in three cities.

Resilience has become a buzzword in science, industry, and policy, and this volume offers a fresh perspective on urban resilience as a regulatory and constitutive principle of governance in cities. Cities constitute an extremely relevant playground for resilience, as they are exposed to various disruptions, from natural disasters and pandemics to political conflicts and terrorism. This book traces the evolution of urban resilience, from international development organizations to local governments and communities. It explores how this concept was adopted and mobilized by different actors for different purposes, and analyses the resulting resilience momentum in Barcelona, San Francisco, and Santiago. The book outlines the extent to which resilience has become a universal policy tool and a desired end-state, despite its clearly problematic definition. It also contributes to the discussion about contemporary governance, safety and security in times when their very nature and feasibility are being questioned.

This book will be of much interest to students of resilience studies, urban studies, development studies, human geography and international relations.

chapter 1|21 pages

Resilience and its discontents

chapter 2|27 pages

From problem-solving to self-governance

chapter 3|27 pages

Global mobilizers of urban resilience

chapter 4|24 pages

100 Resilient Cities

chapter 5|9 pages

Operationalizing city resilience

chapter 6|28 pages


chapter 7|25 pages

San Francisco

chapter 8|22 pages


chapter 9|14 pages

Re-thinking urban resilience

What’s next?