Elena Mitrenova (2017)


Urban Resilience – Die Macht des Wissens im urbanen Policy-Making Prozess


In the last decades the role of cities has become crucial for the academic, political and public field and urban issues have been included in some of the emerging political debates about climate change, poverty reduction, sustainable development and disaster risk prevention, response and recovery. The question what makes cities resilient to economic, social and natural shocks, initiates discussions, conferences and worldwide exchange networks in both the academic and the political field.

Consequentially, the urban resilience concept has been adopted by different international organisations and policy-making bodies in order to promote disaster risk reduction programmes, strategies and plans. The absence of exact definition of the concept leads to its extension, to very distinct approaches and understandings of what urban resilience ideally implies and finally – to fuzziness and confusion in the political field. However, four influent international organizations (UN-Habitat, World Bank, The Rockefeller Foundation and Arup) agree with the idea of creating a holistic cross-section of the city, which should integrate all levels of urban life (technology, government, social issues, infrastructure, transport and environment, etc.), including all forms of knowledge and all possible hazards and shocks specific to the particular urban area.

Thus, the question if their programmes and reports indeed follow a “holistic” approach is crucial for this master´s thesis. Its aim is to investigate the inclusion of all forms of urban knowledge in the “holistic” programmes and to illustrate the power of both knowledge and discourse for validating and pursuing particular political interests.

Submitted   at the Faculty of Architecture and Planning
Supervision   Dr. phil. DI (FH) Sabine Knierbein