Critiquing Urban ‘Resilience’

An article by Tom Slater takes on several sacred cows of the current planning discussion, most prominently among them what he describes as “the anaesthetising spell of resilience.”

Slater’s article moves on from an initial discussion about the launch of the new Guardian Cities website to discuss what he describes as the rise of “an entire cottage industry on ‘resilient cities,’” which he sees as the next buzzword in a “sinister” lineage including new urbanism, sustainability, and regeneration.

According to Small: “The insidious work of urban resilience lies in the obvious and, to its proponents entirely logical policy suggestion the word carries: ‘urban dwellers of the world, brace yourselves for austerity [or environmental catastrophe] and everything will be fine in the end!’”

Among Small’s complaints about resilience: “As an analytic framework (if it can even be called that) ‘resilience’ studiously, perhaps even judiciously, ignores every important question about the contradictions of capital accumulation and circulation, about uneven development, about enabling political structures, about state strategies of ‘growth machine’ branding – I could go on.”

Full Story: The resilience of neoliberal urbanism

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