Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Economic, Social, and Environmental Resilience of Cities


Creating sustainability within cities can be difficult. A paper by Luigi Fusco discusses how cities can develop economy synergy by fostering creativity, resilience, and sustainability (2011). His work is more focused on port cities but does highlight the concept that human elements are important considerations in the development of cities that will survive change.  These factors may actually be measured to help ensure that cities are moving in the right direction. 

Creativity is a powerful energy source for redevelopment. With creativity people can solve problems, develop new products, and find new ways to doing things. This creativity helps develop an economic engine with new ideas and marketable solutions. 

Synergy can be seen as the relation principles that help discus the interconnected nature of business and people. As businesses and people connect together they develop interactions that can enhance the economic system. Synergy is based on these social and business networks that focus on a shared perspective of development. 

The author breaks down development into economic resilience, social resilience, and environmental resilience. The paper focuses primarily on creating sustainable eco-cities that are economically viable. The measurements are as follows: 

Economic Resilience:

Funding from local foundations and banks/year 

Innovative public procurement supporting local industries

Regeneration capacity of economic activities (variations overtime of innovative activities in the area/total number of activities)

Localization of new creative, flexible and adaptive activities

Density of networks among companies

Variation of informal sector economy

Industrial production activities integrated in spatial and social context/Total of industrial production activities

Innovative research activities/Total of research activities

Number of university spin-off/year

Incubators of activities

Number of design patents/year

Number of cooperatives enterprises/Total number of enterprises

Number of micro-businesses/Total number of enterprises

Density of networks among public authorities, enterprises and research center

Social Resilience:

Increase of social cohesion sense as reflection of circular economic-ecological processes

Percentage of reduction of unemployed people living in the area

Experiences of self-organization capacity in neighborhoods

Implementation and upgrading of existing “public spaces”(number of squares closed to traffic)

Conservation of elements expressing the area’s cultural identity and memory

Number of events, festivities, ceremonies, as expression of collective/social memory, in the year

Percentage of people involved in forums and participative processes/year

Involvement of the III sector in specific programs/projects/activities (housing cooperative networks, social housing associations, etc.)

Density of cooperative and partnership networks

Involvement of local people in urban planning

Capacity of learning from explorative experiences

Openness of people to differences and diversities

Level of interpersonal trust

Perception of belonging to a specific community

Number of donors/10.000 inhabitants

Environmental Resilience:

Reduction of vulnerability and risks levels

Conservation and increase of green areas (tree planting and maintenance, promotion of green roof and green fa├žade)

Percentage of local materials used in productive processes

Conservation and improvement of landscape quality

Reduced car travel demand

Reduction of motor traffic

Air pollution reduction

Water pollution reduction

Recovery/recycling/regeneration of waste material (percentage of plastic, metals, tires, slag, cans, glass, paper reused, recycled and regenerated)

Water recycling (rain water percentage recovered)

Waste management (self-organized waste management)

Percentage of local renewable sources (new electric power plants localization, based on energy innovation) used in productive processes

Organic waste recycled percentage (local composting production/year)

Percentage of activities included in a smart energy grid (to use a variety of fluctuating energy sources)

Localization of new industries with a low environmental load (ISO and Emas certified)

Number of modern eco-compatible buildings/Total number of buildings

Luigi, F. (2011). Multidimensional evaluation processes to manage creative, resilient, and sustainable city. Aestimum, 59.

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