SEED Magazine has an in-depth story about resilience science and the contribution that its making to understanding and managing of our cities. Following is a description of resilience theory that points out the need to quantify and understand the natural states and the tipping points that put our systems at odds with livability and sustainability.
“Resilience theory, first introduced by Canadian ecologist C.S. “Buzz” Holling in 1973, begins with two radical premises. The first is that humans and nature are strongly coupled and co-evolving, and should therefore be conceived of as one “social-ecological” system. The second is that the long-held assumption that systems respond to change in a linear, predictable fashion is simply wrong. According to resilience thinking, systems are in constant flux; they are highly unpredictable and self-organizing, with feedbacks across time and space. In the jargon of theorists, they are complex adaptive systems, exhibiting the hallmarks of complexity.”
This feature is certainly worth a read for all of those that are involved in managing our urban systems and infrastructure. The feature states that there is no balance but constant flux that must be adapted to. It speaks to the need to monitor and manage with constant imbalance in mind. All the more reason to apply geospatial technologies and sensor networks for the constant monitoring and analysis of change.