Bouncing back or bouncing forward? Simulating urban resilience

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While the direct physical effects of an urban catastrophe are relatively straightforward to assess, indirect and longterm impact on the urban system is more circumspect. A large-scale shock such as an earthquake derails the complex urban system from its equilibrium path onto an unknown trajectory. Consequently, assessing the effect of policy intervention that aims to mitigate this shock and increase urban resilience is fraught with complexity. This paper presents the implementation of dynamic agent-based simulation to test long-run effects of a hypothetical earthquake in Jerusalem, Israel. It focuses on investigating the effectiveness of policy choices aimed at restoring the urban equilibrium. Cities are found to have a self-organising market-based mechanism that strives to attain a new equilibrium. They therefore may not always bounce back – they may also bounce forward. Decision-makers, engineers, emergency and urban planners need to be cognizant of this tendency when designing policy interventions. Otherwise, well-intentioned efforts may inhibit urban rejuvenation and delay the onset of city recovery.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)115-124
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Urban Design and Planning
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2014


  • Disaster engineering
  • Town and city planning
  • Urban regeneration

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Urban Studies


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