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Open AccessArticle

Towards an Urban Resilience Index: A Case Study in 50 Spanish Cities

Ecology Department, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, C/Darwin, 2 (Biology Fac.), Campus Cantoblanco, Madrid 28049, Spain
Department of International Environment and Development Studies (Noragric), Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), P.O. Box 5003, Ås N-1432, Norway
Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA), Gaustadalleen 21, Oslo 0349, Norway
University of Gibraltar, Europa Point Campus, Gibraltar GX11 1AA, Gibraltar
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Patricia Romero-Lankao, Olga Wilhelmi and Mary Hayden
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 774;
Received: 24 May 2016 / Revised: 30 July 2016 / Accepted: 4 August 2016 / Published: 9 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Resilience and Urban Sustainability: From Research to Practice)
Urbanization is a major driver of land use change and global environmental decline. With accelerated urbanization worldwide, it is essential to put in place new policies to conserve urban ecosystems, species and the services these provide in order to secure more sustainable, resilient and livable cities for the 21st century. In urban planning, the concept of resilience has broadly replaced the word sustainability. In recent years, resilience indicators have been gradually developed, but few address urban resilience from a social-ecological systems perspective. We develop a methodological framework to measure urban resilience, define an urban resilience index and apply it to Spanish province capitals as a case study. Results show that most Spanish province capitals are far from being resilient. We conclude that increased efforts to measure urban resilience should be in place, and we offer the urban resilience index as a theoretical framework for measuring resilience in urban social-ecological systems that can be gradually improved as more data become available. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban resilience; sustainability indicators; urban resilience index; Spanish province capitals urban resilience; sustainability indicators; urban resilience index; Spanish province capitals
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Suárez, M.; Gómez-Baggethun, E.; Benayas, J.; Tilbury, D. Towards an Urban Resilience Index: A Case Study in 50 Spanish Cities. Sustainability 2016, 8, 774.

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