Planning Responses to Urban Shock

Description and Timescale: Planning Responses to ‘Shock’ and ‘Slow-Burn’ Events: the Role of Redundancy in Regional Resilience is the name of a seminar series funded jointly by the Economic and Social Research Council and the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science. The seminars will be organised by the Centre for Urban and Regional Studies (CURS) at the University of Birmingham in collaboration with Waseda Institute of Urban and Regional Studies (WIURS), Waseda University, Tokyo. This grant will stage two separate seminar events in the UK and Japan during 2012/13.

Project summary: The principal aim of the seminars is to examine state-of-the art theory and practice on regional resilience and the role of redundancy in adapting to ‘shock’ and ‘slow-burn’ events as well as aiming to enhance collaboration between researchers on this topic. This seminar series will explore aspects of resilience and redundancy in both the UK and Japan drawing on urban and regional responses following sudden environmental or natural shocks (eg: Tohoku earthquake) and slow-burn socio-economic shocks (eg: recession, plant closure, austerity measures) highlighting their impact on urban and regional systems and the response of agents. The main objectives of the seminars are to:

  • develop comparative perspectives in social scientific and cultural definitions and meanings of resilience and redundancy in the UK and Japan;
  • establish the applicability of resilience to social and economic systems at the regional scale;
  • identify how redundancy can enhance the adaptive capacity of urban and regional systems and the indicators necessary for measuring redundancy and core components of resilience (equilibrium, evolution etc.) relevant to shock events across urban and regional systems;
  • compare resilience policies and strategies in the UK and Japan reviewing recent urban and regional planning responses to ‘slow-burn’ and ‘shock’ events in the UK and Japan;
  • draw out policy and academic implications and make recommendations for policy and research agenda around comparative studies on redundancy within adaptive systems.

 Lead partners: The project is lead by Peter Lee from the Centre for Urban and Regional Studies at the University of Birmingham, assisted by Jon Coaffee (University of Warwick) and Stefan Bouzarovski (University of Manchester). The Japanese team is led by Osamu Soda from Waseda University.

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