Avoiding decline: Fostering resilience and sustainability in midsize cities

Craig R. Allen, Hannah E. Birge, Shannon L Bartelt-Hunt, Rebecca A. Bevans, Jessica L. Burnett, Barbara A. Cosens, Ximing Cai, Ahjond S. Garmestani, Igor Linkov, Elizabeth A. Scott, Mark D. Solomon, Daniel R. Uden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Eighty-five percent of United States citizens live in urban areas. However, research surrounding the resilience and sustainability of complex urban systems focuses largely on coastal megacities (> 1 million people). Midsize cities differ from their larger counterparts due to tight urban-rural feedbacks with their immediate natural environments that result from heavy reliance and close management of local ecosystem services. They also may be less path-dependent than larger cities due to shorter average connection length among system components, contributing to higher responsiveness among social, infrastructural, and ecological feedbacks. These distinct midsize city features call for a framework that organizes information and concepts concerning the sustainability of midsize cities specifically. We argue that an integrative approach is necessary to capture properties emergent from the complex interactions of the social, infrastructural, and ecological subsystems that comprise a city system. We suggest approaches to estimate the relative resilience of midsize cities, and include an example assessment to illustrate one such estimation approach. Resilience assessments of a midsize city can be used to examine why some cities end up on sustainable paths while others diverge to unsustainable paths, and which feedbacks may be partially responsible. They also provide insight into how city planners and decision makers can use information about the resilience of midsize cities undergoing growth or shrinkage relative to their larger and smaller counterparts, to transform them into long-term, sustainable social-ecological systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number844
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume8
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 26 2016

Fingerprint

resilience
Sustainable development
sustainability
Feedback
Information use
megacity
Ecosystems
ecological system
large city
subsystem
social system
decision maker
urban area
citizen
city
interaction
management
urban system
ecosystem service
transform

Keywords

  • Adaptive governance
  • Complexity
  • Cross-scale interactions
  • Ecosystem services
  • Resilience assessment
  • Shrinking cities
  • Social-ecological systems
  • Transformative governance
  • Urban systems
  • Urbanization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Cite this

Allen, C. R., Birge, H. E., Bartelt-Hunt, S. L., Bevans, R. A., Burnett, J. L., Cosens, B. A., ... Uden, D. R. (2016). Avoiding decline: Fostering resilience and sustainability in midsize cities. Sustainability (Switzerland), 8(9), [844]. https://doi.org/10.3390/su8090844

Avoiding decline : Fostering resilience and sustainability in midsize cities. / Allen, Craig R.; Birge, Hannah E.; Bartelt-Hunt, Shannon L; Bevans, Rebecca A.; Burnett, Jessica L.; Cosens, Barbara A.; Cai, Ximing; Garmestani, Ahjond S.; Linkov, Igor; Scott, Elizabeth A.; Solomon, Mark D.; Uden, Daniel R.

In: Sustainability (Switzerland), Vol. 8, No. 9, 844, 26.08.2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Allen, CR, Birge, HE, Bartelt-Hunt, SL, Bevans, RA, Burnett, JL, Cosens, BA, Cai, X, Garmestani, AS, Linkov, I, Scott, EA, Solomon, MD & Uden, DR 2016, 'Avoiding decline: Fostering resilience and sustainability in midsize cities', Sustainability (Switzerland), vol. 8, no. 9, 844. https://doi.org/10.3390/su8090844
Allen, Craig R. ; Birge, Hannah E. ; Bartelt-Hunt, Shannon L ; Bevans, Rebecca A. ; Burnett, Jessica L. ; Cosens, Barbara A. ; Cai, Ximing ; Garmestani, Ahjond S. ; Linkov, Igor ; Scott, Elizabeth A. ; Solomon, Mark D. ; Uden, Daniel R. / Avoiding decline : Fostering resilience and sustainability in midsize cities. In: Sustainability (Switzerland). 2016 ; Vol. 8, No. 9.
@article{f70acb4851474221b7ebf25838825c4e,
title = "Avoiding decline: Fostering resilience and sustainability in midsize cities",
abstract = "Eighty-five percent of United States citizens live in urban areas. However, research surrounding the resilience and sustainability of complex urban systems focuses largely on coastal megacities (> 1 million people). Midsize cities differ from their larger counterparts due to tight urban-rural feedbacks with their immediate natural environments that result from heavy reliance and close management of local ecosystem services. They also may be less path-dependent than larger cities due to shorter average connection length among system components, contributing to higher responsiveness among social, infrastructural, and ecological feedbacks. These distinct midsize city features call for a framework that organizes information and concepts concerning the sustainability of midsize cities specifically. We argue that an integrative approach is necessary to capture properties emergent from the complex interactions of the social, infrastructural, and ecological subsystems that comprise a city system. We suggest approaches to estimate the relative resilience of midsize cities, and include an example assessment to illustrate one such estimation approach. Resilience assessments of a midsize city can be used to examine why some cities end up on sustainable paths while others diverge to unsustainable paths, and which feedbacks may be partially responsible. They also provide insight into how city planners and decision makers can use information about the resilience of midsize cities undergoing growth or shrinkage relative to their larger and smaller counterparts, to transform them into long-term, sustainable social-ecological systems.",
keywords = "Adaptive governance, Complexity, Cross-scale interactions, Ecosystem services, Resilience assessment, Shrinking cities, Social-ecological systems, Transformative governance, Urban systems, Urbanization",
author = "Allen, {Craig R.} and Birge, {Hannah E.} and Bartelt-Hunt, {Shannon L} and Bevans, {Rebecca A.} and Burnett, {Jessica L.} and Cosens, {Barbara A.} and Ximing Cai and Garmestani, {Ahjond S.} and Igor Linkov and Scott, {Elizabeth A.} and Solomon, {Mark D.} and Uden, {Daniel R.}",
year = "2016",
month = "8",
day = "26",
doi = "10.3390/su8090844",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "8",
journal = "Sustainability",
issn = "2071-1050",
publisher = "MDPI AG",
number = "9",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Avoiding decline

T2 - Fostering resilience and sustainability in midsize cities

AU - Allen, Craig R.

AU - Birge, Hannah E.

AU - Bartelt-Hunt, Shannon L

AU - Bevans, Rebecca A.

AU - Burnett, Jessica L.

AU - Cosens, Barbara A.

AU - Cai, Ximing

AU - Garmestani, Ahjond S.

AU - Linkov, Igor

AU - Scott, Elizabeth A.

AU - Solomon, Mark D.

AU - Uden, Daniel R.

PY - 2016/8/26

Y1 - 2016/8/26

N2 - Eighty-five percent of United States citizens live in urban areas. However, research surrounding the resilience and sustainability of complex urban systems focuses largely on coastal megacities (> 1 million people). Midsize cities differ from their larger counterparts due to tight urban-rural feedbacks with their immediate natural environments that result from heavy reliance and close management of local ecosystem services. They also may be less path-dependent than larger cities due to shorter average connection length among system components, contributing to higher responsiveness among social, infrastructural, and ecological feedbacks. These distinct midsize city features call for a framework that organizes information and concepts concerning the sustainability of midsize cities specifically. We argue that an integrative approach is necessary to capture properties emergent from the complex interactions of the social, infrastructural, and ecological subsystems that comprise a city system. We suggest approaches to estimate the relative resilience of midsize cities, and include an example assessment to illustrate one such estimation approach. Resilience assessments of a midsize city can be used to examine why some cities end up on sustainable paths while others diverge to unsustainable paths, and which feedbacks may be partially responsible. They also provide insight into how city planners and decision makers can use information about the resilience of midsize cities undergoing growth or shrinkage relative to their larger and smaller counterparts, to transform them into long-term, sustainable social-ecological systems.

AB - Eighty-five percent of United States citizens live in urban areas. However, research surrounding the resilience and sustainability of complex urban systems focuses largely on coastal megacities (> 1 million people). Midsize cities differ from their larger counterparts due to tight urban-rural feedbacks with their immediate natural environments that result from heavy reliance and close management of local ecosystem services. They also may be less path-dependent than larger cities due to shorter average connection length among system components, contributing to higher responsiveness among social, infrastructural, and ecological feedbacks. These distinct midsize city features call for a framework that organizes information and concepts concerning the sustainability of midsize cities specifically. We argue that an integrative approach is necessary to capture properties emergent from the complex interactions of the social, infrastructural, and ecological subsystems that comprise a city system. We suggest approaches to estimate the relative resilience of midsize cities, and include an example assessment to illustrate one such estimation approach. Resilience assessments of a midsize city can be used to examine why some cities end up on sustainable paths while others diverge to unsustainable paths, and which feedbacks may be partially responsible. They also provide insight into how city planners and decision makers can use information about the resilience of midsize cities undergoing growth or shrinkage relative to their larger and smaller counterparts, to transform them into long-term, sustainable social-ecological systems.

KW - Adaptive governance

KW - Complexity

KW - Cross-scale interactions

KW - Ecosystem services

KW - Resilience assessment

KW - Shrinking cities

KW - Social-ecological systems

KW - Transformative governance

KW - Urban systems

KW - Urbanization

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84990886701&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84990886701&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.3390/su8090844

DO - 10.3390/su8090844

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84990886701

VL - 8

JO - Sustainability

JF - Sustainability

SN - 2071-1050

IS - 9

M1 - 844

ER -