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Legacies and Tensions while Building Urban Resilience: Exploring Urban Plans in Barcelona and its Metropolitan Region
* 1 , 2 , 1
1  1 Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3), Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
2  1 Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3), Universitat Oberta de Catalunya 2 Estudis d’Economia i Empresa, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya


In 2013, UNISDR recognized Barcelona as a role model city within the “Making Cities Resilient!” campaign. A year later, UN-Habitat selected the city to host the headquarters of the City Resilience Profiling Programme, a scheme to promote urban resilience beyond UNISDR’s traditional approaches of risk reduction. By the end of 2014, the Rockefeller Foundation incorporated Barcelona as a member of the 100 Resilient Cities network. Finally, in 2015, the UN Sustainable Development Goal on resilient cities was sanctioned by the Catalan network of cities towards sustainability. These international agencies and networks shaped the turn from climate-change urban resilience to multi-hazard urban resilience in Barcelona and its Metropolitan Region. However, as we argue in this article, the conception and operationalization of urban resilience was not only inspired by international agendas and actors, but also mediated by particular local agendas and needs. For instance, in Barcelona, the commitments of the new local government in 2015 brought new topics, such as the reception of refugees or the universal access to basic services, within the terrain of urban resilience. Thus, in this paper we first explore the role of both global and local agendas to transmit and shape ideas and practices of urban resilience. To do so, we review twenty urban plans and institutional declarations, international reports, and press materials referring to urban resilience from the Barcelona Metropolitan Region. Second, we discuss the interplay between globally circulating and locally emerging resilience-building efforts, and we identify potential elements of consensus and dissensus regarding the way to design and implement urban resilience.

Keywords: Climate resilience; governance; policy mobilities; resilient cities; urban policy