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Urban Risks

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A la croisée des chemins entre gestion des risques et gestion urbaine, ce numéro thématique propose de partager des perspectives méthodologiques et des retours d’expérience pour dessiner les contours d’un urbanisme potentiellement résilient.

Resilience of urban systems: a proposal for a methodological framework dedicated to the operators’ needs

The objective of this paper consists in presenting a resilience methodological approach developed since decade with the aim of taking into account the complexity of urban critical infrastructures in a context of risks management. This complexity is tackled according to the omnipresence of interdependences, collectively demonstrated as vector of initiating and spreading disruptions. The methodological approach is applied to several urban systems and tested with the objective of integrating the complexity and producing required knowledge the actions in favour of the risk

Conceptual modelling as guidance for helping to build resilient cities

The resilience concept is use by many fields of study, and has been more and more use by the risk science in the last ten years. It is still difficult today to give a single definition and to found an agreement on its meaning and its application inside the scientific community. In this paper, we are not explaining the different definitions but we are taking an interest in models of implementation of resilience that are available in the literature. We are more specifically focusing on systemic patterns, which are generic or operational and applicable by stakeholders. Research work that we had selected (Panarchy [GUN 02], Cycle Adaptatif [WAL 04], Resilience Alliance [RES 10], Spatial Decision Support System [BAL 13] answered partially to our aim, which is to found an operational framework that helps to build resilient cities. We looked for a new methodology that could be used to build territories and societies resilience. Therefore, we are suggesting a new resilience model, relying on previously mentioned studies: the CREAA model. This one is focusing on two temporalities: before and after the event. It is made up of four units, that has been built around key targets, specific to every studies, and that allowing the model to adapt different situations (different territories and different hazards).

Designing care: towards a permanent resilience of the city

In contemporary cities, natural and industrial risks are accompanied by an environmental risk (climatic, pollution...) that affects the most vulnerable populations. Designing care allows promoting permanent resilience which can mitigate the effects of these environmental risks. Designing care, the resilience is not only a process of recognition and regeneration built a posteriori, but a permanent awareness of the complexity of contemporary urbanity. This topic is based on research carried out between 2013 and 2017 in a sector of the 5th arrondissement of Paris. This urban laboratory has made it possible to construct a system of projects, by scaling and rescaling their effects in the urban life. These projects help to build a constant and multi-partnership resilience.

Flood resilient city and urban distortion

Whereas “keeping the water away” has long been the byword of academic and institutional circles in urban planning, the idea of “living with water” is progressively catching up. Nowadays, national and local authorities tend to share a common vision of resilient cities that would be ready to live through floodings without incurring major disruptions. This being said, if we look at how resilient urban design has been recently put into practice across various districts built in flood-prone areas, numerous contradictions remain. Upon closer examination, these reveal a clear lack of innovation in the way construction choices are made and architectural solutions designed. Resilient solutions may strenghten the city, but they do not lead to complete resilience. There is still a long way to go in order to achieve resilient urban design as well as knowledge management systems. Building on French case studies, this article shows that resilient urban projects are not a translation of urban resilience understood in a systemic sense. Resilient urban design is rather to be considered as a local, always negotiated and potentially contradictory translation of urban resilience. When it comes to city spaces, little attention is paid to their qualities, their different meanings and scales or to their inhabitants’ daily lives. We suggest to resolve these contradictions by setting the foundations of a practice-based and in-situ resilient urban design.

Land transaction, as a mode of regulation for flood management. An insight from two flood retention areas: l’Île Saint Aubin (Saint Aubin Island, Angers) and la Bouillie discharge channel (Blois).

For local governments, the implementation of land tenure strategies may constitute a key component for the reinforcement of territorial resilience. As such, it is now quite common in France to implement flood protection projects based on the preservation of water retention areas, which are located upstream on-going urban development schemes. Such projects are implemented in order to protect the various issues at stake in those densely populated areas. In this context, the use of land tenure instruments (acquisition, local agreements, expropriation, etc…) may facilitate the implementation of those projects. In this paper, we will focus on 2 case studies with the example of flood expansion areas located nearby the cities of Blois (Bouillie spillway) and Angers (Ile Saint Aubin). In both projects, those water retention areas have been restored and/or maintained in order to protect neighboring urban estates, via the implementation of specific land tenure strategies. In this paper, we will describe and analyze those strategies. We will describe how they can be seen as “transactions” (or negotiated exchanges) between local stakeholders, that they may lead to the reorganization of local land uses and often have a strategic dimension which overtakes the mere land rights issue. At last, we will question those transactions on land, as they may constitute a crucial condition for the reinforcement of local resilience.

The neoliberal shift of resilience? Practices and political forms of the resilience operationalization in Dakar

The resilience concept and its operationalization within the international policies had been criticized by authors as a way to develop a neoliberal governmentality through the world. Especially in the countries of the global South, its enforcement into adaptation and risk policies would come down to a risk responsibility transfer, from the public authorities to individuals and “communities”, participating thus to the spread of a market rationality within the whole social life. However, few studies are dealing with the concrete effects of adaptation and resilience programs on the targeted
populations. From an ethnography of resilience and territorial adaptation to the flooding risk project set up by the World Bank and the Senegalese State in the Dakar suburbs, this article aims to analyse the responsibility transfers production linked to resilience operationalization. It shows that the configuration of power set up through this programme is more articulated to, than fully integrated to the neoliberal governmentality.

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