Every five years, the Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP) and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP) hold their annual meetings jointly. The 2013 AESOP/ACSP joint congress opens July 15 in Dublin with the theme “Planning for Resilient Cities and Regions.” As the program brochure puts it, “resilience is the buzzword for this conference.” The program description of the theme is similarly open-ended, mixing aspects of engineering, ecological, disaster studies and vernacular interpretations of the concept of resilience:
The Congress focuses on resilience which has become a new banner for various societal and related planning efforts in cities and regions across the globe. These efforts generally aim to sustain the urban and rural viability and improve the quality of life for their residents amidst the global economic and socio-political crisis and climate change. The concept of resilience relates to the degree to which various environments and systems can tolerate changing conditions and circumstances before adapting and reorganising around a new set of structures and processes. While the concept is sometimes understood only as resilience to climate change and geo environmental hazards, we propose its utility to planning and development be explored in broader terms – as an approach to the multifaceted nature of local and global challenges. In fact, one may consider the ability to adapt and change as an indicator of resilience.
The conference program and (1,165-page) accompanying book of abstracts (view or download both here) provide a window onto the highly diverse ways the subject of resilience is being approached by academic planners within the sixteen different conference tracks.