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Participatory resilience: Surviving, recovering and improving together

In the context of urbanization and a growing population, cities and citizens are becoming more exposed and vulnerable to social and environmental changes, ranging from natural disasters like earthquakes and floods to uncertainties caused by issues related to climate change and complex social dynamics or even pandemics. There have been many debates about implementing resilience thinking that allow cities and communities to prepare for possible stresses and shocks. Although there are sets of frameworks aimed at building inclusive resilience strategies fostering participation and engagement, there is limited resilience-related literature on how to conceptualize participation.

Through an extensive review of various kinds of publications on resilience, policy documents, and case studies, which emphasize the concepts of participation, coordination, and co-creation, this review explores and investigates how citizen participation is discussed and applied in the context of participatory resilience.

We conclude that participatory approaches possess a great potential to enhance multi-stakeholder cooperation, social innovation, and capacity building for resilience. Realization of the potential of participatory resilience will remain limited, however, unless participation strategies and frameworks are made more transparent, inclusive, and context-sensitive.

S. Mahajan, C. I. Hausladen, J. A. Sánches-Vaquerizo, M. Korecki, D. Helbing, Participatory resilience: Surviving, recovering and improving together, Sustainable Cities and Society 83 (2022) 103942

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