CSS Research Forum

Event Type: 
Sara Meerow
Friday, January 27, 2017 - 3:00pm to 4:30pm
2024 Dana Building
Event Sponsor: 
Center for Sustainable Systems

Please join us for our first CSS Research Forum of 2017.

Whether you are brand new to CSS or a veteran, you are strongly encouraged to come join us and hear about the work other researchers are doing.

We will serve a selection of PIES and COFFEE.

When: Friday, January 27, 2017 - 3:00 to 4:30 PM.
Where:  2024 Dana Building

We'll hear a presentation from:

Sara Meerow - Ph.D. candidate researching the theory and practice of urban resilience, green infrastructure planning, and urban climate change adaptation. Prior to SNRE, Sara received an M.S. in International Development Studies from the University of Amsterdam, and a B.A. in Political Science and History from the University of Florida.

(website: https://sites.google.com/a/umich.edu/sarameerow/)

Title: The Contested Nature of Urban Resilience

Abstract: The notion of fostering ‘resilience’ in the face of environmental, economic, social, and political disruptions is increasingly employed by academics and decision-makers across a wide array of disciplines, sectors, and scales. In particular, resilience is often cited as an important goal for cities, and there is an emerging body of literature on so-called ‘urban resilience’. Despite its growing popularity, urban resilience remains a fuzzy concept that is problematic to operationalize or measure. In this talk I will begin by introducing the concept of urban resilience and its recent critiques, and then show how my research helps to redeem the concept and enables a more critical examination of the politics of resilience as it is applied in different empirical contexts. In the second part of my presentation, I will move from a more conceptual focus on resilience to understanding how it is being applied on the ground. Green infrastructure is one increasingly popular strategy that cities are employing to achieve multiple resilience benefits. I will propose the Green Infrastructure Spatial Planning (GISP) model as a way to unpack the political and scalar challenges of attempting to enhance social-ecological resilience through green infrastructure planning. Applying the model initially to the city of Detroit, I show how priority areas for green infrastructure shift depending on how resilience is operationalized, empirically illustrating the complex and inherently political challenge of planning for urban resilience. I then quickly touch on my work on the opportunities and challenges of urban climate change adaptation, before concluding with a discussion of my future research plans. 

Cocitation network for field of urban resilience (Meerow et al. 2016)


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