Planning for Urban Resilience in a Changing Climate
Dr. Sarah Meerow
School of Geographical Sciences & Urban Planning
Arizona State University
Abstract: Urban scholars and policymakers are increasingly focused on enhancing resilience in the face of climate change and other threats, but what does this really mean? The widespread popularity of the resilience agenda suggests that it has broad appeal and may even serve as a boundary object. However, it has also prompted criticisms that urban resilience is a fuzzy and contested term and some scholars now reject resilience altogether. In my talk, I will discuss my research that attempts to address some of the common critiques by: 1) making sense of how conceptualizations of resilience differ in and across the academic literature, US local officials, and the broader public, 2) analyzing how cities are putting resilience into practice in different US cities, and 3) examining to what extent these efforts address equity and are truly transformative.
Biography: Sara Meerow is an interdisciplinary social-ecological systems scientist working at the intersection of urban geography and planning. Her research tackles the challenge of how to make cities more resilient in the face of climate change and other social and environmental hazards. She combines more conceptual studies of urban resilience with empirical research on the complexities of green infrastructure and climate change adaptation planning in a range of cities. Meerow emphasizes problem-driven, collaborative research that combines qualitative and quantitative methods with spatial analysis.