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This post is adapted from Michael Berkowitz's plenary speech at the Habitat III Conference, The United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development. What is urban resilience and why does it matter now more than ever?
In many ways, resilience is fundamentally concerned with disasters. But we’re not just talking about the ability to bounce back from the sudden disasters – think fires, earthquakes, floods – that are commonly associated with the word. We’re also focused on the long-term, slow-burning disasters that weaken a city over time. These stresses – poverty, endemic violence, an inadequate transportation system – are persistent and no less pernicious than sudden disasters.