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Social Innovation Systems for Building Resilient Communities

Department of Architecture, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G1 1XQ, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Urban Sci. 2018, 2(1), 13;
Received: 16 January 2018 / Revised: 30 January 2018 / Accepted: 31 January 2018 / Published: 1 February 2018
PDF [255 KB, uploaded 1 February 2018]


Social innovation—while not a new practice in itself—has re-emerged since the global financial crisis in 2008 as an approach to solving our collective intractable global challenges. Despite its renewed popularity, there is no common definition for the phenomenon, not least in the context of its application when planning the built environment or civic infrastructures. This paper seeks to position the practice of social innovation as a means for holistic collaboration between disciplines to develop sustainable social ecologies and systems that provide for resilient communities. It tests a hypothesis that social innovation develops over phases (feedback loops)—that of the network, framework and architecture phase—to design for social, environmental and economic resilience. It looks to theories emerging in other subject areas like sociology and technology, that can inform its application in a planning context, such as Actor-Network and Adaptive Complexity theories. It explores the mechanisms that provide for resilience through action research and engagement with a number of international case studies and scenarios. Lastly, the paper identifies further avenues of research pertaining to networks, frameworks and architectures to develop models of best practice for inclusive, sustainable and iterative community development. View Full-Text
Keywords: social innovation; urban planning; networks; frameworks; architectures; social systems; social change; participatory decision making social innovation; urban planning; networks; frameworks; architectures; social systems; social change; participatory decision making

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Horgan, D.; Dimitrijević, B. Social Innovation Systems for Building Resilient Communities. Urban Sci. 2018, 2, 13.

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