Page 51 - Final Report-8 NO TRANSPARENCY

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Resilient urban systems:
a socio-technical study of community scale climate change adaptation initiatives
Table 4: Summary of enablers
Technical Enablers
1. Functional diversity and redundancy – allowing key functions to be performed through alternate
means and / or alternate processes
2. Resource diversity and redundancy – allowing resources to be replaced, either through back-up
supplies of the same kind or through a different form of resource
3. Fail-safe mechanism – ensuring impacts of faults are minimised or contained
4. Design for modification – reducing barriers for changes to system behaviour or configuration
5. Feedback mechanism – ensuring changes in system function (or contextual operating conditions)
are detected and acted on rapidly.
Institutional Enablers
1. Cross-scale learning and information exchange – allowing knowledge gained by stakeholders at
one level of system function to be passed through to stakeholders at another
2. Clear lines of responsibility – ensuring the scope of stakeholder responsibility for system
governance is clear and understood by all stakeholders
3. Cross-scale influence – allowing stakeholders existing at one scale to directly influence those
operating at another
4. Feedback mechanisms – ensuring faults are detected early and affect a rapid response
5. Embedded learning and experience – ensuring stakeholders responsible for system functions have
the depth of knowledge about system operation to understand and manage its vulnerabilities and
have the capacity to respond to novel shocks.
Social Enablers
1. Knowledge – Experience; Diversity; Community cohesion; knowledge sharing
2. Context - Priorities and finances; House and system design
3. Agency - Community organization; System governance; Level of co-management
Resilience is not simply a function of interactions of enabling components or properties, but is a dynamic
property at the socio-technical system level. A system’s capacity for resilience is associated with a range
of enablers that prevent the system from being immutable, fixed, incapable of change, path dependent,
and ‘brittle’. Depending on the nature of each enabler, and how they interact, they can equally become
‘disablers’ of social resilience, resulting in maladaptive as opposed to adaptive outcomes. For example:
Even if a system’s infrastructure can be regarded as technically resilient, if a householder lacks personal
experience of system disturbance or extreme conditions, and has limited exposure to other people who
may have such experience, their access to alternative knowledge is limited and their available options
reduced if they do experience disturbance or discomfort. If institutional enablers, such as direct links
with the community, appropriate contracts and/or embedded learning are also lacking, this may lead the
householder to adopt whatever is ‘normalised’ practice amongst their peers, which may or may not be
maladaptive, for example, air conditioners are increasingly visible, commonly promoted by builders as a
standard appliance and largely ‘normalised’ as an acceptable response to heat discomfort.