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Exploring the User-Driven Implications in Building Urban Sustainability and Resilience: Lessons From OURS CITIES Global Network Study Cases
* 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6
1  GSSI Cities, Gran Sasso Science Institute, L'Aquila (Italy)
2  School of Design and Environment, Building Dept, National University of Singapore
3  Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Universidad de los Andes (Colombia)
4  Department of Environmental Science, Rhodes University (South Africa)
5  Department of City and Regional Planning, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
6  Construction Engineering & Management, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (Saudi Arabia)

Abstract: Smart, green and resilient city paradigms have been mainly promoted through top-down practices. Hard infrastructures and planning measures have been the engine for protecting and reducing urban vulnerability in the last decades. However, social networks and community actions have been strengthening the effectiveness of resilience in many cases.The emergent global framework for city resilience, promoted by the Rockefeller Foundation, recognized the key relevance of such social-driven resilience building, which requires a more accurate conceptualization and further empirical evidences.This paper presents a conceptualization of the city User-driven resilience by i) situating urban resilience within urban smartness and sustainability transitions, ii) framing community resilience within other perspectives and approaches to urban resilience and iii) highlighting the key roles and communities tools in building user-driven resilience. In order to offer empirical and solid evidences supporting such conceptualization, the paper is framed in 3 main parts covering very different urban contexts, and addressing the user-driven resilience related to i) the neighborhoods built environment as a whole, ii) the infrastructure systems, iii) urban metabolic flows. The first part explores user-driven resilience in developing countries cities, where self-help practices constitute a policy framework enabling communities to build and manage their own neighborhood. The second part refers to the decentralized infrastructures community management, in which evidences from Colombian cases illustrate the role of communities in building and maintaining key green-infrastructures. The last part is dedicated to the change-agent roles and effectiveness, within urban social networks, in re-shaping more resilient and sustainable uses of urban resources (water and energy). Case studies evidences from Singapore, South Africa and Saudi Arabia support the emerging relevance of such user-driven perspective related to urban metabolism.The paper conceptualization and results suggest that urban resilience thinking should be oriented though sustainability, and that user-driven contributions to cities resilience building should be properly accounted and framed within urban resilience strategies.
Keywords: Urban Resilience, Community Resilience, User-driven Resilience, Sustainability transitions, Change-agents, Self-help