Given the realities of climate change and sea-level rise, coastal cities around the world are struggling with questions of resilience.  Resilience, at its core, is about desirable states of the urban social-ecological system and understanding how to sustain those states in an uncertain and tumultuous future. How do physical conditions, ecological processes, social objectives, human politics, and history shape the prospects for resilience?

Informed by insights of more than fifty scholars and practitioners, Prospects for Resilience establishes a broad framework for understanding resilience practice in cities and sets out a process for grappling with the many meanings of resilience. Using Jamaica Bay—the largest contiguous natural area in New York, home to millions of New Yorkers, and a hub of global air travel with John F. Kennedy International Airport—the authors demonstrate how various components of social-ecological systems interact, ranging from climatic factors to plant populations to human demographics. They also highlight essential tools for creating resilient watersheds, including monitoring and identifying system indicators; computer modeling; green infrastructure; and decision science methods. Finally, they look at the role and importance of a “boundary organization” like the new Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay in coordinating and facilitating resilience work, and consider significant research questions and prospects for the future of urban watersheds. Prospects for Resilience is not only for those working in Jamaica Bay or other urban watersheds, but for all researchers, urban planners, students, and others who have a desire to create more resilient cities.

Prospects for Resilience sets forth an essential foundation of information and advice for researchers, urban planners, students and others who need to create more resilient cities that work with, not against, nature.

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