The being of urban resilience

Authored by: Christine Wamsler , Lynne Reeder , Mark Crosweller

The Routledge Handbook of Urban Resilience

Print publication date:  December  2019
Online publication date:  November  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138583597
eBook ISBN: 9780429506666
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9780429506666-5

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Abstract

The nature of urban risk and disasters is changing. Hazards are increasing in intensity and frequency and their causes and after-effects are becoming more complex. Their unpredictable nature and impacts have a significant bearing on the mental wellbeing, fear, and stress levels of those who experience them, and on those involved in disaster risk reduction and management. Despite this situation, the urban resilience literature mainly addresses broader socio-economic and environmental systems, while there is a near-absence of literature that focuses on mental wellbeing in resilience. This reflects the failure of the academic community to debate the contribution of mind and wellbeing to urban resilience research. At the same time, there is an increasing number of studies that have examined mental wellbeing and associated cognitive/emotional and relational capacities, such as mindfulness. This chapter discusses the implications of these studies for urban resilience, with the aim of bridging the current gap between individual and systems approaches. It provides an overview of the key aspects of how the human mind, and mindfulness in particular, is inherently linked to disaster risk reduction for resilience building at different scales. On this basis, the chapter suggests how organizations and policy can address resilience more comprehensively, notably by putting people (with their values, beliefs, worldviews and associated cognitive/emotional capacities) at the center of urban resilience planning and enabling related pre- and co-conditions.

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