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12: Urban resilience against environmental challenges

english language

There are two terms that have come to define the 21st century: the ‘urban age’ and the ‘age of man’. The former reflects the fact that more than half of the world’s population live in cities. The latter indicates the cost of this urbanisation and the impact of human activities on the creation of a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene. Many cities around the world are acknowledging this and are competing with one another to become not only the cleanest, greenest and healthiest city, but also the safest one. In this context, resilience has become a fast-spreading concept.

We will discuss assumptions behind and ideologies and rationalities carried by the concept of resilience, inscribed meanings and values, social/political and moral/ethical implications of different interpretations and applications of resilience; furthermore, what pitfalls and opportunities are embedded in and implied by different understandings of resilience? Participants will be asked to select a city from the 100 Resilient Cities and use that as a case study throughout the seminar.


Head, Energy Department, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, Wien
Director, GURU - Global Urban Research Unit and Associate Director, Institute for Sustainability, University of Newcastle Chair
Professor and Head of Center, Regional Science, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna Chair

Mag. Dipl.-Ing. Dr. M.Sc. Brigitte BACH

Head, Energy Department, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, Wien

1983-1992 Technical Physics (DI, Dr.), Technical University Vienna
1984-1988 Astronomy (Mag.), University of Vienna
1988-1990 University assistant at the Institute of Nuclear Physics, Technical University of Vienna
  Tübingen and Vienna in Nuclear Astrophysics
1991-1992 Scholarship for research projects at the Universities Stuttgart and Tübingen (Germany), Phd research in
  and EUREKA Secretariat
1992-1994 Chamber of Commerce Austria, BIT - Bureau for International Research and Technology Cooperation
1994-1995 ASA - Abfall Service Austria
1995-1996 CEO of the Austrian Ecology Institute
1996-1999 CEO of a small Consulting Company
1999-2003 Research and business development in the Business Unit Renewable Energy, AIT
2002-2004 M.Sc. Communication and Management Development, Danube-University Krems
2004 Deputy Head of Business Unit Renewable Energy, AIT
2005-2008 Head of Business Unit Sustainable Energy Systems, AIT
since 2009 Head of Center for Energy, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology

Seminar Week

show timetable


17:00 - 17:30Opening of the European Forum Alpbach 2018Plenary
17:30 - 18:30Opening SpeechesPlenary
19:00 - 20:30Presentation of the SeminarsPlenary


Seminar 01: The EU and its neighbours: resilience as a strategic prioritySeminar
Seminar 02: Digital transformation: opportunities, risks, sustainability and resilienceSeminar
Seminar 03: Gender dynamics in changing societiesSeminar
Seminar 04: The approaching climate shocks - resilience and diversity in climate changeSeminar
Seminar 05: Resilience and development policySeminar
Seminar 06: Precision medicine and its impact on our evolutionSeminar
Seminar 07: Minority politics in a comparative perspectiveSeminar
Seminar 08: How resilient are ecosystem services to disturbances?Seminar
Seminar 09: Economic shocksSeminar
Seminar 10: What can religions contribute to social justice?Seminar
Seminar 11: European Security - moving towards resilience?Seminar
Seminar 12: Urban resilience against environmental challengesSeminar
Seminar 13: Mission to Mars - Education for changeSeminar
Seminar 14: Linguistic diversity: a resource for individual and communal resilienceSeminar
Seminar 15: (How) Do we decide?Seminar
Seminar 16: The interaction of the evolution with our human microbiomeSeminar
Seminar 17: Our work in our futureSeminar
Seminar 18: Reproductive RightsSeminar
Seminar 19: Spoken word poetry: the power of languageSeminar
Seminar 20: Why is it called a Play?Seminar
Seminar 21: Warrior of the Heart - DojoSeminar


19:00 - 20:00Global Muckraking: a guest lecture by Anya Schiffrin on investigative journalismPlenary