What is Urban Resilience?

Urban Resilience is the capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses, and systems within a city to survive, adapt, and grow no matter what kinds of chronic stresses and acute shocks they experience.


Stresses weaken the fabric of a city on a daily or cyclical basis.

Examples include:

  • high unemployment
  • overtaxed or inefficient public transportation system
  • endemic violence
  • chronic food and water shortages.


Acute shocks are sudden, sharp events that threaten a city.

Examples include:

  • earthquakes
  • floods
  • disease outbreaks
  • terrorist attacks

Enhancing Resilient Cities…

Improving the individual systems that make up a city will increase the resilience of the city overall. Resilient systems withstand, respond to, and adapt more readily to shocks and stresses to emerge stronger after tough times, and live better in good times.