Resilient Cities and People

Resilient Cities and People

Most people in cities struggle in facing the constant changes as well as current conditions that exist in large urban areas. The sub-theme Resilient Cities and People concerns the relationship between urban resilience and urban governance considered from the perspectives, initiatives and experiences of these people. Central questions are: How do people deal with these challenges? Who ‘makes’ the city and why, when and where? All this is brought into view through the lens of the ‘makeshift city’ which aims to capture how collective and individual people respond to and cope with (e.g. individual resiliency) threat, chaos and conflict. The aim of this sub-theme is to encourage multi-stakeholder responses to urban crises that start from rather than work against people’s initiatives.

Theme Leads

  • Naomi van Stapele

    Dr. Naomi van Stapele is Assistant Professor ‘Urban Governance and Development Policy’ at ISS. Alongside ethnography, her main type of research method entails community-led research and action (CLRA). Currently, she is involved in a CLRA project together with gangs on urban resilience in several East-African cities that are marked by religious violent extremism.


  • Brian P. Godor

    Dr. Brian P. Godor has more than 15 years of teacher development experience. His research focuses on teachers’ competencies for gifted children as well as resiliency in adolescents. He currently leads an Erasmus+ project with five major European football clubs to develop their social programs to include resiliency and life skills trainings within this activities.


Urban Vitality in a Global Context

Dr Jan Fransen shares his perspective on urban development

Read the interview
Paying attention to local responses to urban uncertainties and violence reveals the different way that citizens make-do in terms of economy, security and climate change. This makes visible vital initiatives by citizens that offer not a mere alternative to top-down approaches but are resilience practices ‘in their own right’.
Naomi van Stapele
Theme Lead Resilient Cities and People

Dr. Brian Godor talks about the Fairplay / Feyenoord project which investigates the social impact of football and how it can make youths more resilient.

Resilient people form the heart of every vibrant city. However for adolescents, the challenges of growing up in a large city, can form an obstacle in their positive development. The basic building blocks of resiliency such as optimism, community relatedness, and emotional regulation can aid adolescents in their development in reaching their full potential.
Brian P. Godor
Theme Lead Resilient Cities and People