Models, Methods, and Metrics to Measure Socioeconomic Resilience: Two Portuguese Urban Systems as Case Studies

Models, Methods, and Metrics to Measure Socioeconomic Resilience: Two Portuguese Urban Systems as Case Studies

Carlos Gonçalves (University of Lisbon, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4186-8.ch014
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This chapter aims to discuss concepts and methods to measure the landscape resilience of urban systems and test the indicators framework in the Portuguese regional context. The objective is to measure the performance and the direction of the urban changes in different phenomena, as well as to evaluate the level of urban systems preparation for a desired and undesired change adaptability. The approach to these issues is analyzed in the literature, dividing the aforementioned analysis into the resilience of the economic base, of the social structure, and of the urban form. In brief, the chapter meets three objectives: firstly, defining the framework of principles more commonly associated with urban resilience; secondly, providing a selection of indicators that embodies the different proposals of measurement; and thirdly, applying the indicator matrix to two Portuguese case studies (Caldas da Rainha and Évora urban systems).
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Generated in the field of ecology, applied to engineering and used in medicine (especially in the approach to regeneration processes after exposure to traumatic experiences), the concept of resilience can be defined as ‘the ability to return to the original form or position after being bent, compressed or stretched, … the elasticity, and ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity,’ (Schroll, Thorn, & Kjærgård, 2009, p. 1). Certainly, this approach does not serve the broad interpretation of the processes that drive urban systems changes throughout their history (Pickett, Cadenasso, & Grove, 2004).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Indicators: Solutions to organize statistical information that allow to measure and to evaluate the socio-economic and socio-environmental phenomena.

Resilience Components: Subsystems that integrate the complex system of functioning of the metabolism that shapes the factors of territorial progress.

Socio-Economic Resilience: Systemic analysis of socioeconomic indicators that reproduce the robustness of the development trajectories, guaranteeing progress, even in crisis contexts.

Resilience Measures: Indicators and models that allows capturing the dynamic and systematic character inherent to the evaluation of territorial resilience.

Crisis: Environmental, economic, social, or political processes that block the development path of a community.

Urban Resilience: Ability to anticipate, manage, or overcome crisis contexts by strengthening development trajectories and improving the living conditions of urban communities.

Urban Systems: The result of high levels of articulation between the different networks generated by environmental, economic, and socio-political flows, intra- and inter-urban centers.

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