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Baron, N and Cherenet, Z (2018) Perceptions and pathways of resilience in Addis Ababa. International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, 36(04), 337–52.

  • Type: Journal Article
  • Keywords: Qualitative research; Ethiopia; Urban resilience; Expert interviews; Provincializing;
  • ISBN/ISSN: 2398-4708
  • URL: https://doi.org/10.1108/IJBPA-02-2018-0014
  • Abstract:
    Resilience has recently attracted widespread interest in the field of urban planning and theory. However, the research that has been conducted on urban resilience in Africa has major theoretical and methodological gaps. This can lead to problems when designing and implementing resilience strategies there. Understanding African perspectives can be a way of tackling these. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach Using the example of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, this paper analyses expert interviews based on a grounded theory approach. The goal is to explore locally specific perceptions of and pathways to urban resilience. By comparing these findings to those reported in the existing literature, differences and overlaps are identified. Findings This study provides evidence for the existence of locally specific perceptions of and pathways to urban resilience. Furthermore, it identifies urban development pathways such as complete urban makeover (tabula rasa) and complete negation of change (resistance). Research limitations/implications Because this study uses Addis Ababa as a singular case and expert interviews as method, it rather represents an initial attempt at exploring a new research field than claiming generalisability. Its quality and significance lie in its discursive approach and theory formation. Practical implications This exemplary study from Ethiopia demonstrates that a regionally specific understanding of urban resilience is valuable for the design and implementation of urban resilience strategies. Originality/value This study offers unique insights into urban resilience from an African perspective and into the manifestation of urban resilience in Addis Ababa.