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Real-World Labs for co-producing Urban Resilience
1  HafenCity Universität Hamburg, Germany


Urban resilience is understood as “the ability of an urban system […] to maintain or rapidly return to desired functions in the face of a disturbance, to adapt to change, and to quickly transform systems that limit current or future adaptive capacity (Meerow et al 2016, 39).” Urban systems are understood as „social–ecological–technical/built system (SETS)“ (McPhearson et al 2016, 207). Active citizens can increase the resilience of various SETS and contribute to a sustainable transformation of cities (Frantzeskaki et al, 2016). To strengthen and to implement such contributions into public planning practice, new instruments for cooperation are needed that support citizens and municipalities to co-produce urban resilience. Therefore, concepts for the governance of socio-ecological systems like adaptive co-management (Folke et al, 2005) have to be adjusted to urban system dynamics including urban developments, spatial conflicts and underlying power structures (Crowe et al, 2016). To develop such instruments the paper suggests applying real-world-labs, as they provide a framework to bridge theory and practice in urban resilience research. In real-world-labs researchers intervene with the aim of gaining socially robust knowledge about transformation processes. They build upon an transdisciplinary perspective, aim to initiate mutual learning processes, and foster sustainable transformations on both a local and global scale (Schneidewind et al, 2016). Within my research I use the Gängeviertel in Hamburg as a real-world-lab. The quarter was occupied in 2009 and is now developed by the City of Hamburg in cooperation with citizen organisations to create apartments, studios, workshops and a sociocultural centre. In doing so, the cooperation partners co-produce an urban space that strengthens the resilience of the city. (Ziehl, 2018). The paper illustrates the applied research method and presents recommendations for action to co-produce urban resilience as a contribution to future research about urban co-management instruments for more resilient cities.

Keywords: urban resilience, real-world labs, cooperation, co-production