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What is the Purpose of Urban Climate Resilience? Implications for Addressing Poverty and Vulnerability

Authors: Richard Friend; Marcus Moench

This paper considers how commitments to poverty reduction and social justice can be accommodated in emerging theories and practice on urban resilience. The application of resilience theory has considerable potential for furthering our understanding of the particulars of urban climate vulnerability with its emphasis on complex systems that are increasingly important to urban life. But there are also significant risks. Resilience theory does not adequately address critical issues of power, voice and equity. Moreover, much of the uptake of resilience is as a buzzword rather than a conceptual framework. As such, the discourse of resilience has connotations that can run counter to interests of poverty reduction. The authors argue for a critical application of resilience, with special attention to concerns of resilience for and by whom. 


Citation: Friend, R., & Moench, M. (2013). What is the purpose of urban climate resilience? Implications for addressing poverty and vulnerability. Urban Climate, 6, 98-113. doi: 10.1016/j.uclim.2013.09.002

Funded By: The Rockefeller Foundation