Conceptual Overview of Resilience: History and Context

Tuna Taşan-Kok*, Dominic Stead, Peiwen Lu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientificpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter aims to explore the historical roots of the concept of resilience in the context of urban planning. The simplest definition of resilience in this case is the capacity of a system to undergo change and still retain its basic function and structure after facing an external disturbance. In other words, it has the capacity to change into a different system regime without crossing a certain threshold. This basic definition has its roots in applied sciences. In engineering, for instance, resilience refers to the capacity of a structure to withstand an impact without being permanently deformed (Callister 2000) while, in ecology, resilience is defined as the amount of disturbance that an ecosystem can withstand without changing its self-organised processes and structures (Holling 1973). Resilience has been used in wide range of areas, such as ecology, environmental and social sustainability, environmental sciences, hazard planning, ecosystem management, and even in supply chain risk research.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResilience thinking in urban planning
EditorsA Eraydin, MT Tasan-Kok
Place of PublicationDordrecht
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)978-94-007-5475-1
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Publication series

NameGeoJournal Library
ISSN (Print)0924-5499
ISSN (Electronic)2215-0072


  • Resilient Community
  • Social Capital
  • Spatial Planning
  • Urban Planning
  • Urban System


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