Lisbon social dimension in urban resilience

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The world has been facing a continuous increase in the number and size of urban areas. Social dynamics changes are inevitable, calling for the need to examine and monitor urban systems, in particular urban resilience to social problems and to changes in socio-ecological systems. This paper intends to analyze and understand how the municipal policies in Lisbon have been contributing (or not) to the resilience of the urban system, through a social dimension. We have looked at what is that socially drives the urban system, what, why and how social disturbances and changes affect its resilience, and how the municipal policies may contribute to it. A literature review on urban resilience and social innovation was developed to identify a proper methodology to be adopted and to identify the main elements to be addressed in this analysis. The methodology adapted consists of five steps: (i) translation of the social dimension into urban resilience, through social dynamics and social innovation concepts; (ii) definition of the focal scale; (iii) identification of indicators; (iv) development history; (v) interpretation from the perspective of long-term resilience. In applying the methodology to the city of Lisbon, the city governments´ policies were analyzed, and the social drivers, social disturbances, and changes affecting the urban system resilience identified and assessed. The results indicate that demography, social vulnerability, mobility and city attractiveness prove to be key drivers to assess the social contribution to urban systems resilience. These key drives can be applied to other cities with the same urban development typology as Lisbon. Research on the Lisbon's system showed that the city has been facing, over the last 50 years, a mix of desirable and undesirable qualities. Desirable qualities seem to facilitate the urban system's transition to a sustainable behavior, building urban long-term resilience; while the undesirable qualities can be seen as an opportunity to reverse the city social disturbances negative trends by changing current city governance policies.
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity, Lisbon, 11-14th July, 2017
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