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Planning Responses to 'Shock' and 'Slow-Burn' Events: the Role of Redundancy in Regional Resilience

This seminar series will explore the role of 'redundancy' in regional resilience following sudden/natural and slow-burn/socio-economic shocks. We focus on how shock impact on urban and regional systems and the response of policy stakeholders. Resilience is the ability of a system to bounce back from a shock; the community is at the forefront of resilience responses. Fail safe/back-up ('redundancy') is crucial to establishing equilibrium in ecological and engineering systems following shock. Rather than being viewed as an insurance policy for when things go wrong, redundancy is associated with employment loss and as a wholly negative property in socio-economic systems.

In these research seminars, we identify how ‘redundancy’ can enhance the adaptive capacity of urban and regional systems following slow-burn/sudden shock events and aspects of planning policy that help cities and regions to cope with both kinds of shock. In Birmingham a one day theoretical ‘scene setting’ seminar is followed by a site visit and discussion of the Longbridge closure, its slow-burn consequences and planning responses. In Japan, seminars in Tokyo and stakeholder conference in the Tohoku region will build on the Birmingham seminar and pose questions for how redundancy forms a key component of longer-term adaption following natural shock events.