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Impact of culture on urban resilience: Exercising inter-organizational collaboration through scenarios
* 1 , * 2
1  University of Ottawa
2  MINES ParisTech, PSL - Research University, CRC, Sophia - Antipolis, France


The objective of the paper is to characterize the cultural dimension of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) efforts in a context of building urban resilience, and to identify a set of key objectives, activities and competencies in the planning phases involving many organizations.

Resilience, defined as the capacity to recover from severe adversity, benefits from pre-existing system-based resources and their mobilization. This mobilization requires inter-organizational coordination and collaboration across activities and timeline. Learning to exercise such mobilization of resources involves identifying sectors, actors, roles, expertise, assets, vulnerabilities, and timeline of actions. What types of communication and of competencies can optimize efficacy? First, a framework providing a heuristics for planning and actions allows to set the key principles. Then, a scenario-based study enables enactment of the communication and decision-making at various stages. Observations of the simulation provide both empirical evidence on the processes at play, as well as training opportunities to improve efficacy.

To examine the dimension of the culture of DRR planning, a polycentric network-based model of the disasters is firstly defined. Polycentric networks are composed of a multiplicity of independent decision-making centers sharing at times common goals and resources but also having individual distinctive goals and proper resources with an overarching system of institutional and of cultural rules. The network is dynamic with nodes entering and leaving the network following rules and circumstances.

The dimension of the culture of the network and critical decision-centers will be described by considering shared (or not) meanings, beliefs, assumptions, understandings, norms, values, and knowledge. Learning from the data gathered across team pods and tasks, a set of objectives, activities and competencies will be identified considering the different tasks associated with urban resilience and different dimension of culture; and a reflection of how to integrate such lessons in urban resilience implementation will conclude the article.

Keywords: Culture variability, inter-organizational collaboration, scenarios