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Welcome to the Smart Urban Resilience website — a document repository and archive site for the ESRC project Smart Urban Resilience: Enabling Citizen Action in Disaster Risk Reduction and Emergency Response (ESRC/CONACyT ES/S006583/1). Here you can find more information about our project, the team, and our research activities. Our different outputs are also be shared in this site. New publications will be added as they become available.

Smart Urban Resilience was an ESRC-CONACyT research project that run between 2019 and 2021. In the UK the project was under the leadership of Durham University, with the support of Newcastle University. In Mexico, the project was under the leadership of CIDE, with the support of the Universidad Autónoma de Guerrero. We looked at how smart urban and digital technologies might enable citizen action in disaster risk reduction and emergency response in Mexican cities.

The Smart Urban Resilience project examined the encounter between civil society and smart city technologies in the context of emergencies and disasters, including disaster risk reduction and response (DRR). The research focused on medium-sized cities in Mexico, with research in Puebla, Acapulco and Queretaro. This spread of cities illustrates the growing range of socio-environmental hazards and disaster risks currently affecting urban settings in ODA countries—where rapid and uncontrolled growth, inadequate planning, and poverty exacerbate risk conditions. The project’s approach avoided popular techno-utopian perspectives where “adopting more technology” (e.g. sensors, digital applications, databases, digital maps, among others) is seen as the natural and unquestionable path for increasing urban resilience through technological encounters.

The project’s outputs seek to guide a diverse group of interested parties (from communities affected by disasters to digital technology companies interested in DRR) on how to approach smart/digital technology in DRR in a way that prioritises human capacities and collective action through the actions of civil society stakeholders—as the key element for a robust model of action towards DRR.