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Resilient Urban Economies

Resilient Urban Economies

Our work on Resilient Urban Economies aims to explore questions concerning the potential of plural economies in under-writing economic resilience in the urban present and future.

What are resilient cities? Why do plural urban economies matter? How can policy help address the challenges of urbanisation? Watch our video to find out what experts have to say:

The term ‘resilience’ has in recent years infiltrated urban research and policy accounts to reflect both the challenges and the opportunities facing urban futures. It implies adaptation to uncertain and volatile circumstances increasingly facing various urban ecologies and economies, through the spreading of risk and the diversification of opportunities for survival. One of the persistent predicaments with resilience, however, is its potentially nebulous but loaded connotation. As Lizzie Richardson, Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow at Durham University, explains in her British Academy blog, resilience could potentially address but also occlude key contemporary concerns of urban scholars and practitioners.

Why does resilience matter to urban economies and on whose terms? What is presumed by resilience and what pathways are imagined and privileged in different economic settings? To what extent does the notion of resilience allow us to re-think how urban economies work or could work, and conversely in which ways is resilience appended to familiar paradigms of urban industrialisation, growth and linear economies? Tatiana Thieme, Lecturer in Human Geography at University College London, offers reflections on a British Academy workshop heldin December 2016 which debated questions related to changing urban economies and critically engaged with the concept of ‘resilience’.

A range of actors have begun to interrogate the economic policies which have dominated the last four decades and which have tended to privilege market-based approaches over state provisioning due to various forms of privatisation and liberalisation. As a result, unlikely alliances and productive dialogues have emerged across economic networks calling into question dominant ‘Chicago School’ economics where reducing regulation on big business in particular has exacerbated ‘markets without morals’ or regard for long-term well-being of people and the planet. To find out what innovations intrapreneurs represent in ongoing efforts to adapt to urban challenges and opportunities, watch an interview with Maggie de Pree, Co-Founder of the League of Intrapreneurs here.


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