Open Space Innovation in Earthquake Affected Cities
- Publication Type:
- Approaches to Disaster Management - Examining the Implications of Hazards, Emergencies and Disasters, 2013, pp. 183 - 204
- Issue Date:
There are two types of resilience: engineering resilience, and ecological resilience.  Engi‐ neering resilience is drawn from environmental sciences where the resistance to disturbance and rate of return to an optimal equilibrium is paramount. It is predicated on understanding the componentry of a system, the universal applicability of resilience principles, and its ‘efficiency, constancy and predictability’  – all attributes at the core of engineers’ briefs for fail-safe design. Ecological resilience (ex ecological sciences) is about the interrelatedness of a system’s components and forces; how a system can undergo change and still retain function and structure; how it can self-organize; and how it can increase the capacity for learning and adaptation.  Evolution exemplifies ecological resilience: it is a force (within a system) that uses random mutations of components (of a system) to lasting advantage. But it is hard to predict how it will work. The characteristics of ecological resilience are immeasurable, different at different scales, dependent on persistence, change and unpredictability, balanced by multiple equilibria, and accepting of experimentation, knowing that it is safe to fail. These characteristics may not always be apparent, but will probably surface when there is a disturb‐ ance, when there is a need to adapt.  Nature tells us, paradoxically, that it is perhaps a mistake to try too hard to avoid shocks; that stability lets risk accumulate without providing capability or capacity to deal with disaster; and that volatility actually keeps things manageable . In the wake of apocalyptic disturbances, such as hurricanes, floods and earthquakes, the concept of resilience has penetrated recent urbanism theory. But which type of resilience?
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