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Urban resilience in the making? The governance of critical infrastructures in German cities

Monstadt, Jochen ; Schmidt, Martin (2024)
Urban resilience in the making? The governance of critical infrastructures in German cities.
In: Urban Studies, 2019, 56 (11)
doi: 10.26083/tuprints-00016615
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Item Type: Article
Type of entry: Secondary publication
Title: Urban resilience in the making? The governance of critical infrastructures in German cities
Language: English
Date: 21 May 2024
Place of Publication: Darmstadt
Year of primary publication: 2019
Place of primary publication: London
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Journal or Publication Title: Urban Studies
Volume of the journal: 56
Issue Number: 11
DOI: 10.26083/tuprints-00016615
Corresponding Links:
Origin: Secondary publication DeepGreen

Over the last decade, the protection of urban infrastructures has become a focus in German security policies. These point not solely to the multiple external infrastructural threats (e.g. natural disasters, terrorist and cyber-attacks), but also to the endogenous risks of cascading failures across geographical and functional borders that arise from interlocking and often mutually dependent infrastructures. As geographical nodes in infrastructurally mediated flows, cities are considered to be particularly vulnerable to infrastructure breakdowns. Their capability to prevent and to prepare for infrastructural failures, and thus to manage infrastructural interdependencies, is seen as a major prerequisite for resilient societies. However, as our article demonstrates, the institutional capacity of the local authorities and utility companies for risk mitigation and preparedness is limited. Drawing on qualitative research in selected German cities, we argue that the governance of critical infrastructures involves considerable challenges: it overarches different, often fragmented, policy domains and territories and institutionally unbundled utility (sub-) domains. Moreover, risk mitigation and preparedness are usually not based on experience from past events, but on destructive scenarios. They involve considerable uncertainty and contestations among local decision-makers. Interviews with local experts indicate that effective governance of critical infrastructures requires more regulatory efforts by national policies. At the same time, they point to the need for identifying and assessing place-based vulnerabilities, for defining locally differentiated mitigation and preparedness strategies and for the training of local utility companies as well as crisis management.

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Uncontrolled Keywords: crisis management, critical infrastructures, urban governance, urban resilience, wicked problems
Status: Publisher's Version
URN: urn:nbn:de:tuda-tuprints-166154
Classification DDC: 700 Arts and recreation > 720 Architecture
Divisions: 15 Department of Architecture > Fachgruppe E: Stadtplanung > Raum- und Infrastrukturplanung
DFG-Graduiertenkollegs > Research Training Group 2222 CRITIS – Critical Infrastructures: Construction, Functional Failures, and Protection in Cities
Date Deposited: 21 May 2024 09:12
Last Modified: 24 May 2024 12:24
SWORD Depositor: Deep Green
URI: https://tuprints.ulb.tu-darmstadt.de/id/eprint/16615
PPN: 518513173
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