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A framework for conceptualizing and assessing the resilience of essential services produced by socio-technical systems
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. Stellenbosch University, South Africa.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0300-4149
Number of Authors: 32018 (English)In: Ecology & society, ISSN 1708-3087, E-ISSN 1708-3087, Vol. 23, no 2, article id 12Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Essential services such as electricity are critical to human well-being and the functioning of modern society. These services are produced by complex adaptive socio-technical systems and emerge from the interplay of technical infrastructure with people and governing institutions. Ongoing global changes such as urbanization and increasing prevalence of extreme weather events are generating much interest in strategies for building the resilience of essential services. However, much of the emphasis has been on reliable and resilient technical infrastructure. This focus is insufficient; resilience also needs to be built into the human and institutional processes within which these technical systems are embedded. Here, we propose a conceptual framework, based on a complex adaptive systems perspective, that identifies four key domains that require investment to build the resilience of essential services. This framework addresses both the technical and social components of the socio-technical systems that underlie essential services and incorporates specified and general resilience considerations. The framework can be used to guide resilience assessments and to identify strategies for building resilience across different organizational levels.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 23, no 2, article id 12
Keywords [en]
complex adaptive systems, critical infrastructure, electricity supply, essential services, resilience assessment, socio-technical system
National Category
Biological Sciences Social and Economic Geography Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-158202DOI: 10.5751/ES-09623-230212ISI: 000437397400001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-158202DiVA, id: diva2:1235442
Available from: 2018-07-25 Created: 2018-07-25 Last updated: 2018-12-20Bibliographically approved

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Biggs, Reinette (Oonsie)
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