Page 54 - Final Report-8 NO TRANSPARENCY

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Resilient urban systems:
a socio-technical study of community scale climate change adaptation initiatives
The examined case studies indicate that combining distributed and centralised models can deliver
accumulative benefits by:
Reducing demand on centralised supply resources and distribution infrastructure
of distributed resources, including the re-use and recycling of those resources reduces demand on
centralised supplies. These changes can accrue to utilities as a delay in the need for investments in
infrastructure capacity upgrades.
Increasing adaptive capacity at the demand-end of supply systems
—benefits include the
flexibility to disconnect from centralised supply to avoid impacts spreading through the network
(e.g. as a result of contamination or rolling-blackouts); re-time or adjust particular activities (e.g.
rationing); shift between resources (eg. greywater to rainwater), or triage less important services (e.g.
car washing for garden watering). Here, specific adaptations are not as important as the willingness,
capacity and familiarity with doing so. Community-scale infrastructure may increase people’s
capacity to co-manage their consumption practices.
Increasing feedback between smaller and large-scale systems
—community-level institutions
can play a critical intermediary role between end-users and centralised service providers by
leveraging collective concern, financial resources and learning.
Driving technical, social and institutional innovation
—the examined case studies have
demonstrated considerable innovation at the site level through resource efficiency, and site and
infrastructure design. They have also had a positive impact on sustainability-related innovation in the
water sector and residential development industry.
Preliminary assessment criteria
Preceding sections have drawn on the analyses of research data to identify enablers of resilience that
are considered critical, by their presence or absence, to householders’ capacity to absorb or adapt to
disturbances in their water and/or energy systems. Drawing upon the enablers, and the above findings,
the following preliminary assessment criteria for building/ assessing/ managing resilient urban systems are
Criteria 1
Resilience is acknowledged as a dynamic and not an end state. Appropriate measures to recognise
and respond to changes over time have been accounted for in long-term monitoring, managing and
maintenance strategies across all levels of the technical, institutional and social components of the systems,
and the development.
Criteria 2
Scenarios used to define and articulate system resilience include known risks as well as those of high
Criteria 3
The design and planning of the development incorporates technical, institutional and social enablers of
resilience according to identified strengths and weaknesses of the systems and the development they are to
be located in.
Criteria 4
Cumulative expected benefits from the combination of distributed and centralised models have been
assessed at multiple scales and found to be greater than for other alternative or conventional systems.
These are preliminary criteria only and it is recommended that further analyses of existing and planned
developments are undertaken to inform their further development prior to their application to test their
capacity to assess/predict system resilience. On-going validation and modification will improve their efficacy
and relevance to stakeholders in urban development.