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Resilience has been defined as. "[T]he capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and reorganize while undergoing change so as to still retain essentially the same function, structure, identity, and feedbacks." [1]

Scientific uses of resilience derive from at least three initially separate fields, which at best provide complementary perspectives: ecology, human development, and disaster management [2] All three are relevant to theory and practice of community resilience.

  1. Walker, B., C. S. Holling, S. R. Carpenter, and A. Kinzig. 2004. Resilience, adaptability and transformability in social–ecological systems. Ecology and Society 9(2): 5. [online] URL:
  2. Brown, K., & Westaway, E. (2011). Agency, capacity, and resilience to environmental change: lessons from human development, well-being, and disasters. Annual Review of Environment and Resources 36: 321-342.