Resilience and Risks Mitigation Strategies





Based on concepts and arguments of policy analysis (for instance, interpretative policy analysis) the group deals with societal discourses about risk, risk management, resilience and planning. Therefore, discourses are not seen as power-free, detached opportunities to talk about risk and risk mitigation, but as complex relationships of forums and arenas that are based on deep assumptions about how to understand and manage risk and how to relate risk management and planning. Specific topics are, for instance:
  • Acknowledging new discourses and terminology gaps, as well as inconsistencies among scientific strands (planning included);
  • Historic and new versions and episodes of risk (natural, technological, environmental, climate change risks, Na-techs, socio-economic risks etc) and their implications for planning.

Methods and models
Currently, we can see attempts at European Level to consolidate terminologies about risk and risk management (e.g., “Language of” of the IP FLOODsite of the EC). These attempts show that a comprehensive approach to methods and models is challenging. In a first step, the group focuses on the following:
  • Key notions (hazard, vulnerability, exposure, risk, risk perception, risk governance, resilience, mitigation, relief, rehabilitation, etc.) as conceptualized by risk researchers, risk managers, and planners;
  • Models and methods for vulnerability, risk and resilience assessment ;
  • Indicators and standards of resilience in spatial planning;
  • Assessment at different levels of spatial systems (local, regional, national, transnational, international) with an emphasis on urban and urbanizing areas.
Co-ordinating risk management and strategic spatial planning
Strategic spatial planning is an attempt in some European Cities and Regions to foster more space - and place - conscious governance “landscapes”. Governance encompasses complex and dynamic relationships (e.g., actors from different societal realms, different co-ordination mechanisms like markets and hierarchies, professional decision-making and public participation). Exploring ways and means for linking risk management approaches to strategic spatial planning is significant for the group and could contribute to the development of other Thematic Groups within AESOP as well. Examples for specific topics are:
  • Defining a vocabulary (terminology) that accommodates effective coupling of socio-spatial planning with risk management;
  • Investigation and promotion of the role of planners in risk governance taking into account risk perceptions;
  • Investigating the possibilities for incorporating risk mitigation objectives and strategies in the national, trans-national and international planning and environmental legal provisions;
  • Calling for new ideas on innovative spatial and non-satial planning tools serving risk mitigation and conversely on risk mitigation processes and instruments that might be systematically incorporated in spatial planning;
  • Participation and communication of/about risks between politicians, officials, NGOs, and citizens;
  • Exploring the relationship between risks and the urban land market;
  • Developing measures for the effectiveness of mitigation plan decisions.



The networking of researchers and researches is the main focus of this action domain. Actions that will be coordinated with other action domains include:
  • the collection and review of current research practices and experiences through projects in European academic contexts;
  • identifying main topics and research fields for RRMS;
  • establishing links to other research groups in AESOP;
  • circulating research initiatives and proposals of potential interest to members;
  • comparative analyses of the state of risk governance within legal and organizational contexts at different levels;
  • developing efficient and viable standards, criteria, and tools in mitigation planning;
  • developing methods to finance risk mitigation implementation and assessing effectiveness.
Other specific actions and products will be discussed and developed over time.

In this action domain, key issues for the future education of spatial planners, such as methods of introducing risk identification-assessment- reduction know-how in planning curricula, will be identified and determined. These issues will be discussed within the RRMS group during its regular meetings at AESOP Congresses or during specially convened workshops. The educational requirements are linked closely to the other action domains, but within this action domain specific standards for future planning education could be discussed and developed. The development of Summer Schools or other activities for young academics related to RRMS matters has a high priority.

Practice and science collaboration
Based on recent attempts to foster stronger links between planning practice and science (e.g., the method “Engaged Scholarship” put forth by Andrew Van de Ven/University of Minnesota), this action domains deals with a broad range of possible projects (e.g., informed basic research, “true” collaborative research, action research, evaluation research). Specific suggestions to support communication at European level about practice/science communication are in preparation (e.g., documentation about “collaborative research projects” with regard to co-ordinating risk management and strategic spatial planning).

Communications and dissemination
This action domain is responsible for communicating with members and other interested parties on the RRMS activities and related topics. The intention is to strive for two-way communication in a timely and an efficient manner. In addition to documents that are directly connected to RRMS activities the website and other channels will be a source of information on project and funding opportunities and a platform for the identification of issues that require debate or critical examination.


Further Possible activities/outputs
  • Discussion papers targeting the academic environment
  • Development and dissemination of specific topics and methods as teaching material
  • Developing an inventory of academic courses / modules (which is a planned action within the emerging Thematic Group on Strategic Planning within AESOP)
  • Evaluation of real world planning decisions and implementations
  • Criticism of actions taken by mitigation policy bodies at the international and national levels
  • Organization of workshops for researchers and PhD students
  • Collaborative workshops with related professionals and experts like earth-scientists, engineers, social and political scientists etc.
  • Developing means of collaboration with the EU and international bodies dealing with risk mitigation
  • Reporting on current developments of research and implementation concerning risk mitigation
  • Compiling methods of integrating mitigation planning theory and case studies into planning curriculum
  • Bibliography (share and recommendation)
  • Endorsement of the thematic group and disseminating the information to schools of planning, calling for support and participation
  • Encouragement and support for building up a thematic discussion forum and support for intermediary meetings
  • Dissemination of feedback from discussion groups
  • Support for the development of a data base on related studies and contacts of researchers
  • Peer review of documents developed in this theme
  • Publication support and provisions for the preparation and distribution of a ‘newsletter’, thematic books and teaching material
  • Formal support for the thematic group in its approach and applications to EU administration and international bodies

Call for submission: Innovate4Cities 2021 Conference (Oct 11-15, 2021)

Published at: 21 July 2021

Planners for Climate Action invites you to collaborate on the #Innovate4Cities Conference themed to promote the Global Research and Action Agenda will take place virtually 11-15 October 2021.  The I4C program will showcase the latest urban science and innovation from academia, city practitioners, policymakers, the private sector, and civil society, helping to bridge the gap between climate ambitions and results.  We are calling for submissions with a unique focus on urban research and innovation across the conference themes, inspired by the Global Research and Action Agenda. I4C is jointly sponsored by UN-Habitat and the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy. 

Learn more about the themes, sessions, and guidelines, and apply here:  The submission deadline is 4 August.  

Disaster Risk Reduction - Local Resilience in Europe and Central Asia (July 2nd, 10-11,30 am CET)

Published at: 30 June 2021

The event is organised by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction - Europe and Central Asia (UNDRR-ROECA) and the Regional Secretariat for Making Cities Resilient 2030 for Europe and Central Asia, in collaboration with Huddersfield University – UK, as a side event to the Introduction to Geospatial Technologies for Achieving SDGs – Demographic Considerations Summer School of CEU.

Key speakers: Prof. Dilanthi Amaratunga, Head, Global Disaster Resilience Centre Huddersfield University, UK;
Ms Helena Monteiro, MCR2030 Secretariat for Europe and Central Asia, UNDRR; 
Ms Olga Shashkina, Specialist on Local Resilience Building; UNDRR.

Follow the link for more details and free registration:

Reminder: Launch "Climate Action in Planning Education and Practice" (28th June, at 11.30 am UK / 12.30 pm EU)

Published at: 21 June 2021

Our team of AESOP Resilience and Risks Mitigation Strategies thematic group, working on the ‘Climate Action in Planning Education and Practice’ project, are looking for members of the AESOP Young Academics (YA) network to collaborate with us on an online survey and review of higher education programmes delivered by Planning Schools in European countries (plus Turkey) listed on the AESOP "members directory" website. The results will be presented in the upcoming World Urban Campaign ‘Urban Thinkers Campus’ on this topic in November 2021 and a potential journal publication.

If you are interested in collaborating in our project please join us on 28th of June at 11.30 am UK / 12.30 pm EU, on Zoom link:,
Meeting ID: 938 9343 8285

IRDR Humanitarian Summit 2021: Interrogating changing risks (16 June 2021, 10:00 am–4:00 pm)

Published at: 15 June 2021

The UCL Humanitarian Summit will debate and discuss how climate change, conflict and other global phenomena are shaping both the humanitarian sector and humanitarian studies as a field of research and teaching, and vice versa. Coming a few months ahead of COP26, the Humanitarian Summit will also discuss how feminist perspectives in particular might contribute to challenges and solutions.
Event is open to all and is free of cost. Formore details follow the link:

Join SDI at the 15th International Conference on Community-based Adaptation to Climate Change (CBA15)- 15th to 17th June

Published at: 14 June 2021

CBA15 brings together practitioners, grassroots representatives, local and national government planners, policymakers and donors working at all levels and scales to discuss how we can drive ambition for a climate-resilient future.It is a space to explore the importance and urgency of locally led adaptation and address this pivotal moment in climate action. Follow the link for registration and more details:

Rethinking Urban Risk and Resettlement in the Global South

Published at: 10 June 2021

An open access book on environmental changes that have significant impacts on people’s lives and livelihoods, particularly the urban poor and those living in informal settlements. This book is an outcome of collaboration between the Bartlett Development Planning Unit at UCL, the Indian Institute for Human Settlements and the Latin American Social Science Faculty.

Edited by Cassidy Johnson, Garima Jain, and Allan Lavell

Book pdf link:

Climate Action in Planning Education and Practice: Information Session and open call

Published at: 31 May 2021

AESOP’s Resilience and Risks Mitigation Strategies thematic group  are looking for members of the AESOP Young Academics (YA) network to collaborate on the ‘Climate Action in Planning Education and Practice’ project. This project is  will contribute to a World Urban Campaign ‘Urban Thinkers Campus’ on this topic in November 2021. To learn more about the project, join us on an informative  zoom session on 1st June at 11am UK time/12pm European time.

Zoom link:
Meeting ID: 992 8718 6029
Passcode: 696566

Governing the Pandemic: The Politics of Navigating a Mega-Crisis

Published at: 25 May 2021

Authors: Arjen Boin, Allan McConnell, Paul ‘t Hart. 

An open access book that offers unique insights into how governments and governing systems, particularly in advanced economies, have responded to the immense challenges of managing the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing disease COVID-19.

Book link:

Science for disaster risk management 2020: acting today, protecting tomorrow

Published at: 12 April 2021

Tackling the impacts on assets at risk, dealling with hazards of different natures, establishing links existing between hazards and vulnerabilities to support robust and effective action, a report on "Science for disaster risk management 2020: acting today, protecting tomorrow", presents solutions and approaches, describes several examples and cases, showing what the DRM community has learned from disastrous events while pointing out where the gaps in our knowledge are. Report is produced by European Commission Disaster Risk Management Knowledge Centre.

Report link: