Building Urban Resilience for Future Urban Systems: Critical InfrastructuresIntroductionComplex systems such as Cities spread across the globe are in one state of resilience or another and experience similar situations but at different levels and scales. The resilience of a city is the ability for it to survive, adapt and grow no matter the chronic stresses and acute shocks they experience. Due to increasing amounts of stresses and shocks on Cities, Cities from the lowest unit to the highest scales must adapt to these forces or collapse under their weight. This is generating an increased awareness of the importance of assessing the ability of cities to adapt, grow and survive. By assessing the state of resilience, improving individual systems that make up a city such as infrastructure and economy to name a few, pushes cities to become more adaptive, and ready to absorb shocks and stresses by implementing visionary strategies and intervention plans even for uncertainties (Roggema, 2014). Resilience is the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and reorganize while undergoing change to still hold essentially the same function, structure, identity, and feed-backs (Walker, Holling, Carpenter, & Kinzig, 2004) with the ability to learn from disturbances. The systems in question are urban-ecological and socio-ecological systems.For the reason of cross-scale interactions between different variables in a system, the resilience of a system at a particular focal scale will depend on the influences from dependent and independent variables at scales above and below. For example, external oppressive politics, invasions, market shifts, or global climate change can trigger local surprises and regime shifts. (Walker, Holling, Carpenter, & Kinzig, 2004). There are two approaches to resilience, ecological resilience and engineering resilience (Hollnagel, 2013). The former, Ecological resilience, emphasizes the capacity of a site to adjust to external shocks and changes in controlling interactions, while engineering resilience emphasizes its ability to return to a state that existed before discomposure.Ecological resilience is particularly appropriate to urban systems, given the extent and open-ended nature of the changes and challenges they face. (Pickett et al., 2013)City resilience is the capacity of cities to function, so that the people living and working in cities – particularly the poor and vulnerable – survive and thrive no matter what stresses or shocks they encounter. Vulnerability as the extent to which a natural or social system is susceptible to sustaining damage from shocks or stresses. Vulnerability therefore implies not only exposure to hazard factors but also the capacity to recover from their effect. Vulnerability in an urban context should not be conceived as a fixed feature of a specific society or territory, but as a process, whose intensity can be reduced through adequate policies. Thus, a changing urban environment, brought about by both man-made factors and natural factors creates vulnerabilities in cities that need to be prevented (control the source), protected (build to withstand) and controlled (land use planning and zoning) (United Nations Envirnoment Programme, 2008). The interconnected nature of ecological resilience creates a loop of back and forth signals or “feedbacks” between indicators (UNU-IAS, Bioversity International, IGES and UNDP, 2014).Feedback loops control energy flows and populations in ecosystems and the ecosphere between indicators (Normandin, Therrien and Tanguay, n.d.). Feedback can be accelerating or diminishing (positive or negative), and can destabilize or strengthen a system, depending on their relationship to the system’s components (Community Resilience, Diversity and Feedback Loops, 2012). Alternatively, communities can look to themselves and their local and regional economies and environment to build resilience and long-term prosperity that is not dependent on the boom-and-bust creative-destruction cycle. To do so, they must identify feedback loops and understand the types of feedback they can expect from various social, economic or political and environmental activities.To explain this concept further, For example, educating women in poor countries can break or diminish the cycle of poverty because educated women tend to have fewer children. Fewer children means reduced poverty and greater opportunity for the remaining children to become educated, which means even fewer children and, ultimately, less poverty.This is an accelerating feedback loop based on positive signals — signals that encourage more of the same behavior. It is begun by reducing the destructive feedback loop of overpopulation which leads to poverty, which in turn leads to increased population — a trend which would now decelerate.Communities in wealthier, developed nations can observe trends such as migration, culture, automation, globalization and the increasing scarcity and rising price of basic resources to pick the feedback levers they want to “pull” in order to build community resilience and sustainable development into their local economies (Community Resilience, Diversity and Feedback Loops, 2012). Timing is also a very important aspect of analyzing resilience. Trends such as those mentioned above would need to be analyzed through the cultural-historical context of the place for both past and present (Moffatt, 2014). Against this background, the interdisciplinary research poses questions in; what is the state of vulnerability and resilience of urban infrastructures? Which failures and crises do urban infrastructures show? How is the prevention of and preparedness for urban infrastructure failures being organized? What insights does resilience thinking bring to the understanding of the dynamics of urban change in terms of planning, governance and socio-spatial inclusion or exclusion?