Tool to enhance regional resilience (KB-29-006-003)

Project: EZproject

Project Details


Rural and urban regions face severe strains due to contemporary trends in disruptions and drivers of change. These drivers of change include economic globalization, climate change, biodiversity loss, ageing population, rural depopulation and urbanization, as well as crises in food production such as pests, diseases and the financial sector. This incites an urgent need to understand the characteristics of and conditions for the resilience of these regions. We feel that the regional and community level is the appropriate scale for risk reduction, policies and regional management, because of the following related reasons:

  1. The ownership of socio-environmental challenges is predominantly located regionally. This means that there are more opportunities for participation and stakeholder involvement. recognition of ownership of any perceived problem determines whether or not action can be undertaken to redesign organizations, institutions and systems to better absorb changes and disruptions. That ownership, allowing operational decision making, can best be defined at the regional level rather than at lower or higher levels.
  2. Countries have recently embarked on a considerable decentralization of social and nature policy. For instance, the Dutch government and the provinces decided to increase the degree of decentralization in nature policy, which has led to increasing competencies for the provinces in nature policy. Moreover, the new Dutch Environment & Planning Act (‘Omgevingswet’) which will presumably take effect in 2019, has a strong regional focus and is largely relying on civilian initiatives. The Act  aims to stimulate initiatives that create synergies between spatial planning, the climate change adaptation, and nature management.

Both rural and urban areas are dynamic systems, made up of interconnected social, economic, ecological, technological and governance components and processes (Ge 2016). Each of these components have their own ‘language’ with particular concepts and both formal and informal rules relating these concepts. Furthermore, each of these components developed its own jargon with respect to resilience. For example, in ecology resilience is assessed in terms of functional diversity of responses to and effects of external drivers (Gunderson 2000, Folke et al. 2010). In social sciences, community resilience is expressed in terms of human-, economic-, physical capital (Akamani 2012, Robinson and Carson 2016). In economy, the resilience of value supply chains (SC) is determined by factors such as  SC reengineering, collaboration, agility, visibility and velocity (Christopher and Peck 2004, Levermann 2014, Tukamuhabwa et al. 2015, Kamalahmadi and Parast 2016)

Given the complexity of regional development, an integrated approach to resilience is essential which can therefore provide at least partly, a common language. Thus, the overall ambition of this project is: 

to co-develop an integral and participatory tool that allows stakeholders of a regional development process, to assess and enhance the resilience of that region.


We think that implementation of a regional resilience tool facilitates awareness about disruption risks and regional vulnerabilities, and creates support for measures to enhance resilience.

Effective start/end date1/01/1731/12/17


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