This working paper explores the new and emerging issues related to the application of the theory of Urban Resilience and the concept of Panarchy (Gunderson & Holling) to the understanding of urban dynamics. To do so, it will analyse the “Urban Gaps” of Mataró, studying the interaction and the feedback relationship between urban planning and social initiatives, as a continuum interaction of dynamic cycles at different scales.
The first part of the paper aims to show the evolution of the different meanings of Resilience concept, from its original conception from the engineering industry, characterized by the capacity of a system to go back to an starting point; the socioeconomic resilience, highlighted by the amount of resistance facing stochastic events; until the socioecological one, where the emphasis lays on the adaptive capacity of the system and the interaction between adaptive cycles at different time and space scales (Panarchy).
The second part includes the main field work body of the project consisting on the characterization of each dynamic cycle interacting at each space and time scale. Thus, the smallest and fastest one (parcel) is associated to social motion initiatives; the medium (neighbourhood) , is identified with successive urban planning reviews; and finally, the biggest and slowest (city) is linked to “Urban Gaps”.
This part includes the localization and characterization of the urban gaps of Mataro, the review of all the urban planning since the approval of the Local Master Plan in 1977 and the identification of several social actions that have taken place from then till nowadays.
Finally, as the innovative part of this work, Panarchy schemes are drawn showing the different mechanisms and processes through which the different stakeholders and actors interarct and the urban dynamics happen, providing a better understanding of the evolution of the whole system.