A Vision for Resilient Urban Futures

Timon McPhearson, David M. Iwaniec, Zoé A. Hamstead, Marta Berbés-Blázquez, Elizabeth M. Cook, Tischa A. Muñoz-Erickson, Lelani Mannetti, Nancy Grimm

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

7 Scopus citations


A fundamental systems approach is essential to advancing our understanding of how to address critical challenges caused by the intersection of urbanization and climate change. The social–ecological–technological systems (SETS) conceptual framework brings forward a systems perspective that considers the reality of cities as complex systems and provides a baseline for developing a science of, and practice for, cities. Given the urgency of issues we collectively face to improve livability, justice, sustainability, and resilience in cities, bringing a systems approach to resilience planning and policymaking is critical, as is development of positive visions and scenarios that can provide more realistic and systemic solutions. We provide a vision for more resilient urban futures that learns from coproduced scenario development work in nine US and Latin American cities in the URExSRN. We find that developing an urban systems science that can provide actionable knowledge for decision-making is an emerging, and much needed, transdisciplinary research agenda. It will require true boundary-crossing to bring the knowledge, skills, tools, and ideas together in ways that can help achieve the normative goals and visions we have for our shared urban future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationUrban Book Series
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages14
StatePublished - 2021

Publication series

NameUrban Book Series
ISSN (Print)2365-757X
ISSN (Electronic)2365-7588


  • Anticipatory resilience
  • Co-production
  • Social-ecological-technological systems (SETS)
  • Urban futures
  • Urban systems science
  • Visioning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies


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