Tuesday, 14 April 2015


Governing for Urban Resilience

Ruth Beilin (University of Melbourne)
Cathy Wilkinson (Stockholm Resilience Centre)
Sue Parnell (University of Cape Town)

This Special Issue (published May 2015, Volume 52/7) focuses on social-ecological resilience (SER) and urban governance. The papers are case-based and analyse different practices (‘the doing’) of urban SER which transcend scale and location, governments and governance. Locating the action and understanding how it is constituted is a first step to constructing data-bases, creating stories or reconstructing ways of knowing places. 
The papers question policies and programs that are intended to shape the urban and highlight how SER can provide impetus for shifting boundaries (connecting ecosystems, waterways, pathways, buildings, species) to reinvigorate the spaces and occupation of the urban (from an allotment garden to the peri-urban revegetation corridor).  They also make visible the ecological, social, engineering and economic systems that run through and contribute to the dynamic forces of urban resilience.  Cross scale analysis becomes a way of interrogating this dynamism with citizens and with institutions. 
In the research presented here, SER is part of issues of social justice, economic sustainability, local knowledge and the way that these, coupled with memory, can shift our understanding of the urban. SER is not confined to the city as the urban has long transcended the visible infrastructure of its origins.   Collectively, the research in this Issue seeks to examine and support the radical social change needed to inspire citizen discourse and contribute to the ‘doing’ that informs our urban futures.