This note is about the concept of resilience.


The amount of disturbance that a system can withstand before it shifts into an alternative stable state.

Holling, C. S. ‘Resilience and Stability of Ecological Systems’. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 4 (1973): 1–23.

MacKinnon, Danny. ‘Resilient City’. In International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, edited by James D. Wright, 2nd ed., 561–67. 2001. Reprint, Amsterdam: Elsevier Science, 2015.

Meerow, Sara, Joshua P. Newell, and Melissa Stults. ‘Defining Urban Resilience: A Review’. Landscape and Urban Planning 147 (2016): 38–49.

Brunetta, Grazia, and Ombretta Caldarice. ‘Spatial Resilience in Planning: Meanings, Challenges, and Perspectives for Urban Transition’. In Sustainable Cities and Communities, edited by Walter Leal Filho, Anabela Marisa Azul, Luciana Brandli, Pinar Gökçin Özuyar, and Tony Wall, 628–40. Cham: Springer, 2020.


  • resourcefulness
  • antiresilience
  • autonomy
  • just resilience
  • equitable resilience
  • from resilience to transformation

Issues and Criticism

Ecosystem can recover, sometimes surprisingly so.

O’Leary, Jennifer K., Fiorenza Micheli, Laura Airoldi, Charles Boch, Giulio De Leo, Robin Elahi, Francesco Ferretti, et al. “The Resilience of Marine Ecosystems to Climatic Disturbances.” BioScience 67, no. 3 (2017): 208–20.

MacKinnon, Danny, and Kate Driscoll Derickson. ‘From Resilience to Resourcefulness: A Critique of Resilience Policy and Activism’. Progress in Human Geography 37, no. 2 (2013): 253–70.

Evans, Brad, and Julian Reid. Resilient Life: The Art of Living Dangerously. Cambridge: Polity, 2014.

Meerow, Sara, and Joshua P. Newell. ‘Urban Resilience for Whom, What, When, Where, and Why?’ Urban Geography 40, no. 3 (2019): 309–29.

Meerow, Sara, Pani Pajouhesh, and Thaddeus R. Miller. ‘Social Equity in Urban Resilience Planning’. Local Environment 24, no. 9 (2019): 793–808.

Agents and Contexts


Gibson, Chris, and Andrew Warren. ‘Keeping Time with Trees: Climate Change, Forest Resources, and Experimental Relations with the Future’. Geoforum, 22 February 2019.

Gordon, Bonnie J., and Stanislav Roudavski. ‘More-than-Human Infrastructure for Just Resilience: Learning from, Working with, and Designing for Bald Cypress Trees (Taxodium distichum) in the Mississippi River Delta’. Global Environment 14, no. 3 (2021): 442–74.


Dianat, Heiman, Suzanne Wilkinson, Peter Williams, and Hamed Khatibi. ‘Choosing a Holistic Urban Resilience Assessment Tool’. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 71 (2022): 102789.

Allen, Craig R., David G. Angeler, Graeme S. Cumming, Carl Folke, Dirac Twidwell, and Daniel R. Uden. ‘Quantifying Spatial Resilience’. Journal of Applied Ecology 53, no. 3 (2016): 625–35.

Angeler, David G., and Craig R. Allen. ‘Quantifying Resilience’. Journal of Applied Ecology 53, no. 3 (2016): 617–24.

Hodgson, Dave, Jenni L. McDonald, and David J. Hosken. ‘What Do You Mean, “Resilient”?’ Trends in Ecology & Evolution 30, no. 9 (2015): 503–6.

Ingrisch, Johannes, and Michael Bahn. ‘Towards a Comparable Quantification of Resilience’. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 33, no. 4 (2018): 251–59.

Quinlan, Allyson E., Marta Berbés-Blázquez, L. Jamila Haider, and Garry D. Peterson. ‘Measuring and Assessing Resilience: Broadening Understanding Through Multiple Disciplinary Perspectives’. Journal of Applied Ecology 53, no. 3 (2016): 677–87.

Yu, David J., Michael L. Schoon, Jason K. Hawes, Seungyoon Lee, Jeryang Park, P. Suresh C. Rao, Laura K. Siebeneck, and Satish V. Ukkusuri. ‘Toward General Principles for Resilience Engineering’. Risk Analysis 40, no. 8 (2020): 1509–37.