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Collaboratory for Urban Resilience and Energy

Resilience thinking

CURE focuses on the relationship between social-ecological resilience, energy flows and urban structures.

We use resilience thinking as an explanatory framework to highlight the inherently dynamic and precarious nature of human-environment interactions, as well as the ability of different social and ecological systems to embody multiple states of equilibrium and (in)stability.

Much of our work is focused on the socio-technical transitions to a low carbon economy that cities and regions have to undertake order to address climate change and unsustainable resource use (Bulkeley et al. 2013).

Solar panels in the middle of a city with high buildings

We aim to push the boundaries of existing knowledge about the vulnerabilities created by sustainability transitions, by using resilience as an explanatory framework to highlight the importance of issues such as access to infrastructure, features of the ecological system, as well as household and community practices. Our intellectual project, therefore, involves:

  • Interrogating the importance of complexity and ‘synergistics’ as determinants of socio-ecological resilience at multiple scales;
  • Politicising relations between environment and society via, in part, notions of justice and equity; and
  • Exploring how socio-technical change shapes the property and process of resilience within the structures of cities and regions.