Resilience seems to be the topic of much discussion within circles of urbanism today. Though, there is a slight problem. We can’t quite agree on what the term means. Two definitions seem to be floating about. The first rooted in material science. The second, in ecology. Consider an object. An object given a certain form and a certain strength. A pressure is then applied. The object receives and reacts to this pressure, springing back to its original form and strength. From the context of material science, this object has behaved in a resilient manner. Now, consider a jungle. A jungle with a diverse range of species, from the scale of microbes to the tropical canopy. A pressure is applied — e.g., a drought. Certain species die off. Others are fruitful and multiply. In the end, the jungle retains a broad enough diversity of species, across a range of scales, so that it stands a good chance to survive the next pressure on the horizon in a similar manner. From the context of ecology, this jungle has behaved in a resilient manner.
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