March 16th & 17th, 2015

Reimagining Resiliency in Urban Ecologies–A Working Symposium at McGill University

Reimagining Resiliency is an interdisciplinary symposium that seeks to re-imagine and re-think resiliency as it relates to the relationship between the status of a city and the wellbeing of its inhabitants. Resiliency has been defined as “the capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses and systems within a city to survive, adapt, and grow no matter what kinds of chronic stresses and acute shocks they experience. Simply put, resilience enables people to bounce back stronger after tough times, and live better in good times.” (

Reimagining Resiliency asks participants to reconsider resiliency as a movement of co-production between the city and its inhabitants, focusing on the socio-cultural foundation of “living better” rather than the logic of crisis. We aim at exploring the specific mechanisms and techniques engaged in this act of co-production as they play themselves out in creating urban ecologies with vibrant and robust societies, cultures, publics, and places. This is a question of how the imagination and cultural production are fundamental in asserting the quality of our cities and defining our collective values. A reimagined concept of resiliency, as essentially a socio-cultural/ecological (as opposed to purely socio-economic) phenomenon, is central in understanding and achieving sustainable practices in the construction, governance, and experience of the built environment.

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