G-ICT and creative thinking in the context of urban resilience
University College Dublin
Cities are now confronted by systemic environmental, social and economic challenges which are spatial in nature and affect the spaces and places of our cities. The task for cities now is to transition from their current vulnerable state to a more resilient and sustainable future. Urban planning is taking a resilience approach to addressing these issues whereby the city is considered as a system which can build capacity to adapt. Parallel to the emergence of resilience as an approach in urban planning is the proliferation of geospatial information and communication technology (G-ICT) for data gathering, analysis, visualisation and communication. However, the role of geospatial information and communication technology for building adaptive capacity and supporting resilience is yet to be fully explored. This paper addresses this gap in current research by using a mixed-methods, complementary, case-study approach to examine if geospatial information and communication technologies (G-ICT) can support the building of urban resilience. The complementary case study approach involves three case studies in Dublin, Nottingham, and London and three urban issues; underutilised spaces, community capacity and green infrastructure which are evaluated against three resilience principles diversity, connectivity, and collaboration respectively. Three G-ICT prototype applications are designed, developed, implemented and evaluated, using qualitative and quantitative methods including focus groups, questionnaires and controlled experiments. A comparative analysis of the results from the three case studies reveal that the availability of contextual non-technical data collected G-ICT applications can induce creative thinking for solving economic, social and environmental resilience issues. Fostering creative thinking is one step in building the adaptive capacity needed to transition towards urban resilience and sustainability.