Category: Sociological Dimension

We don’t need heroes

Were immigrants arriving in Ellis Island resilient? They survived pogroms, misery or starvation. They had to pass through dreadful sanitary checks, could be quarantined and sent back home. Their living conditions were the worst possible we could think of. Though, this was heaven compared to where they were coming from. Could they imagine after nearly […]

Public transport in times of (post) Covid

In April 2020, Jeffrey E. Harris, a professor of Economics at the MIT, published a study placing responsibility for the Covid spread on the NYC subway, said to be “a major disseminator, if not the principal transmission vehicle”(1). Though highly criticized for its questionable methodology, and though there is no evidence of such correlation in […]

Urban resilience and Culture in times of Covid

A new paradigm is emerging: the nature and scale of risks are changing. The assumption that past observations may help to better appraise future developments becomes questionable due to an anthropogenic metabolism of systemic risks making obsolete our linear way of thinking (1). The abnormal becomes the new norm, shifting to a deadly scenario of […]

Chelsea, NYC, 24th street.

If the Enlightment is recognized for an outstanding intellectual and philosophical development, its emergence coincided with theories “from another time”. In her review (1) on “contagions, public health and social links in the United Kingdom during the 18th century”, French sociologist Anne Marcovich recalls the principle of the so called “intermediary space”, defended by JC […]

When Hollings meets Kandinsky

Identifying and managing risks is nowadays key in any strategic planning. Under the wording risk management, companies aim to control and minimize the risk level that could impact their short or long-term profitability. In cities, risk management is expected to drive urban planning safety approach and better integrate hazards occurrence. It is based on procedural […]

Feeling Sorry for SF.

To the question “Is San Francisco ready for the next quake?” you will find city officials saying yes (1) and experts saying no (2). On both sides, arguments are justified on the grounds of improved or perfectible retrofit programs, risk management training and/or infrastructures vulnerability. To the question “Is San Francisco resilient”, you will find […]

Smart city

Is there any chance to escape urban data? The answer is simply no. Why? Because we are the data. We consume data, we create data, we exchange data. Data are everywhere: Internet of Things, social networks, cell phones, sensors… They are all part of our virtual landscape.  Is there any chance that the trend could […]


Katrina was one of the most destructive natural disasters (*) to strike the US. The reasons of the malfunctions which turned the city into chaos are well known. But what have we learned from the flooding? Some pending questions remain: Did New Orleans resilience improve? Did other cities threaten by flooding learn from this tragic […]

Homeless, Poverty and Urban Resilience

The way individuals socialize in a given environment has been described by Bourdieu, introducing the definition of “habitus” as a system of “governed provisions”. According to Bourdieu, a social capital acquisition by members belonging to the same social group leads to a social class habitus, encompassing the same values. Can this apply to homeless people? […]

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