MSc International Disaster Management

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Urban Resilience

Course unit fact file
Unit code HCRI60022
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


According to UNDP over half of humanity lives in urban settings. This figure is projected to rise to two-thirds by 2050. Therefore, we are no longer in a position to overlook the resilience of urban settings to ensure the well-being of humanity. In simple terms urban resilience is the ability of city dwellers to withstand economic, social, health, environmental, disaster and climate-related risks. However, creating a resilient urban environment is a much more challenging task as it requires the commitment of urban stakeholders and an appropriate urban government system.

Accordingly, it is important that students understand the dynamic nature of urban environments and the underlying elements to enhance urban resilience. They should also have a critical understanding of how to conduct and urban resilience assessment and to contextualise it appropriately. 


The unit aims to develop a critical understanding of urban environments and the resilience of urban environments. The module will provide conceptual and practical knowledge on urban resilience indicators and frameworks.

Open the completion of the module; students should be able to understand an urban environment, its dynamic systems and functions and should be able to assess urban resilience using an appropriate indicator or framework. They will also learn how to contextualise an urban resilient indicator/framework to a different geographical context. 

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, the students will be able to:

• Understand an urban environment, its dynamic systems, and functions.

• Understand the concept of urban resilience and its elements, challenges, and stakeholders.

• Link the nexus between urban resilience and urban development.

• Knowledge on urban resilience indicators and frameworks

• Assess an urban environment using an appropriate framework or indicator.

• Contextualise an urban resilient indicator appropriately. 






Week 1: Unit introduction and Assessment structure, Dynamic systems in urban environments, urbanisation, urbanisation trends and challenges

Week 2: Urban resilience, elements of urban resilience and importance of urban resilience  

Week 3: Urban Resilience and urban development: Link between Urban Resilience and urban development, Challenges for urban resilience

Week 4: Urban Resilient Indicators and Frameworks

Week 5: Case studies on Urban Resilience Assessments

Week 6: Group presentations on urban resilient assessments

Week 7: Local field visit

Week 8: Stakeholders in urban resilience

Week 9: Contextualising urban resilient frameworks and indicators

Week 10: Unit Recap, and assignment clinic  

Teaching and learning methods

The unit will be delivered on campus.  The unit will be comprised of 10 sessions followed by 10 seminars.  Each session will include:
1. Session description
2. Session material (which may include inter alia, written material, assigned readings, videos, web casts, web links, discussion boards, interactive assignments)
3. Summary of learning outcomes
4. Formative questions/assessments to test knowledge

Knowledge and understanding

KU1: Understand urban environments 
KU2: Identify drivers for urban resilience  
KU3: Understand link between urban development and urban resilience 

Intellectual skills

IS1: Linking urban development and urban resilience 
IS2: Assess urban resilience

Practical skills

PS1: Assessment on urban resilience using urban resilience indicators or frameworks
PS2: Contextualising urban resilience indicators or frameworks

Transferable skills and personal qualities

TS1: Persuasive writing
TS2: Confidence and presentation
TS3: Teamwork 

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 60%
Oral assessment/presentation 40%

Feedback methods

Feedback MethodsFormative or Summative
On campus immediately and written feedback within 15 working daysFormative
On Turnitin and within 15 working daysFormative

Recommended reading

1. Meerow, S., Newell, J.P. and Stults, M., 2016. Defining urban resilience: A review. Landscape and urban planning, 147, pp.38-49.

2. Ribeiro, P.J.G. and Gonçalves, L.A.P.J., 2019. Urban resilience: A conceptual framework. Sustainable Cities and Society, 50, p.101625.

3. Glaeser, E.L., 2022. Urban resilience. Urban studies, 59(1), pp.3-35.

4. Meerow, S. and Newell, J.P., 2019. Urban resilience for whom, what, when, where, and why?. Urban geography, 40(3), pp.309-329.

5. Sharifi, A. and Yamagata, Y., 2016. Urban resilience assessment: Multiple dimensions, criteria, and indicators. Urban resilience: a transformative approach, pp.259-276.

6. Sharifi, A., 2020. Urban resilience assessment: Mapping knowledge structure and trends. Sustainability, 12(15), p.5918

7. Ilmola, L., 2016. Approaches to measurement of urban resilience. Urban Resilience: A Transformative Approach, pp.207-237.



Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 20
Seminars 10
Independent study hours
Independent study 120

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Mahawattha Dias Unit coordinator

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