Urban Resilience: Conceptual Framework and Operationalisation – Working Paper


Although the term, ‘resilience’, at present is variously used by the scientific community, the very roots of its emergence go back to the work on environment and climate change domains in the 1960s and 1970s. In the recent decades, with the advent of development interventions to eradicate abject poverty and inequalities in the poor countries, the terms such as resilience have gained much currency to explain the phenomenon of natural and man-made disaster/calamity induced vulnerabilities and ways to mitigate them. The present paper tries to provide a conceptual framework for the term resilience in an urban context using the human security approach which explains the resilience of communities in the select human security themes to the persistent vulnerabilities.

To validate the human security approach, a pilot field study was conducted in Bangalore city where in select service providers and beneficiaries were interviewed using in-depth-interviews (IDIs) tools. The pilot test findings indicated that the urban resilience framework backed up by human security approach better explains the local level vulnerabilities and can be further replicated in any given context. Further, the paper claims that the contextual use of this framework can contribute for a better policy making by the local governments to build the capabilities of communities at the micro level to with stand such everyday vulnerabilities.

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