Sustainability (Nov 2018)

Urban Resilience Discourse Analysis: Towards a Multi-Level Approach to Cities

  • Mikhail Rogov,
  • Céline Rozenblat

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 10, no. 12
p. 4431


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This study aims to understand the current state of research in urban resilience, its relations to urban sustainability and to integrate several distinct approaches into a multi-level perspective of cities comprising micro, meso and macro levels and their interactions. In fact, based on the meta-analysis of nearly 800 papers from Scopus from 1973 to 2018, we show that urban resilience discourses address micro and meso levels, considering shocks of bottom-up origin such as natural disasters. In contrast, the regional resilience approach addresses meso and macro levels (regional and global scales), considering shocks of top-down origin such as world economic crises. We find these approaches complementary and argue that in order to expand the urban resilience theory and overcome its limitations, they should be combined. For that purpose we propose a multi-level perspective that integrates both top-down and bottom-up dynamic processes. We argue that urban resilience is shaped by the synchronicity of adaptive cycles on three levels: micro, meso and macro. To build the multi-level approach of dynamics of adaptive cycles we use the panarchy framework.