The research goals are to define and measure urban resilience, to identify factors that may support it and those that hinder its development, and to examine the influence of these factors on urban resilience. A basic assumption is that the local authority is a key factor that determines coping with emergency events. Hence, a decision was made to see the emergency-related capabilities of the local authority as a proxy of urban resilience – the dependent variable in this study. The data for investigating these capabilities have been obtained from a special data system managed by the Home Front Command (Pikud haOref) of Israel Defense Forces; this will be the first civil use of this special data system.
Two groups of factors will serve as independent factors: first, the resources of the residents, including their economic capital, human capital and social capital; second, the resources of the local authority that include its organizational-economic capital and its political capital. Geographic and structural variables, such as the size of the city and its geographic location will serve as control variables. The data for measuring these variables will be obtained mainly from the Central Bureau of Statistics. The research is based largely on quantitative analysis, on factor analysis to reduce the number of variables, multiple regression analysis and more, but it will also have a qualitative part, designed to explain some of the results of the quantitative analysis.
The research will enable assessment of the level of resilience of localities in Israel, including the factors that enhance or hinder its progress. Decision makers will be able to use the results to develop policies and plans to better cope with various emergency events.
2. Towards Resilience Strategy for Cities and Towns in Israel With M.Sc. student Romy Couriel (initial stage of work)
This research is intended to focus on the kind of risks that are threatening Israeli cities and towns, whether nature-caused or human-caused risks, and on the time line of coping with an emergency event: before it happens – mitigation (activities to reduce the vulnerability) and preparedness (warning systems, for example); when it happens – response (first aid, for example); and after the event – the recovery process.
The leading goal is to enhance the level of resilience in Israeli towns and cities, to improve the capabilities of coping with mega-risk events. The empirical work is inspired by the idea of “learning from success”: three success stories from other countries will be investigated, based mainly on data that were gathered by the Rockefeller initiative of 100 resilient cities, and two relative success stories in Israel, one in the larger city of Haifa and the other in the smaller town of Sderot. The products are planned to serve as foundations for building a resilience strategy for various kinds of cities in Israel.