Frontrunner project: Towards social and urban resilience

Resilience is the ability of a person, household or community to offer resistance to, adapt to or recover from a crisis. Disasters, health crises and crisis measures hit people with a low socio-economic status the hardest, worsening inequality. Through spatial organization and social systems with characteristics like diversity, self-organization, openness, trust, leadership and social networks, we can improve the resilience of communities and society as a whole.

Generally, the consequences of crises, such as drought, floods, extreme temperatures and pandemics, are studied in isolation from each other, despite the significant likelihood of a domino effect happening. A better approach calls for interdisciplinary preparation, especially for vulnerable groups.


This Frontrunner project aims to develop new knowledge to improve the resilience of citizens and communities in times of crisis.


Within four subprojects, we explore how we can improve society’s resilience. We investigate the impact of hot summers on unequal groups within an urban and regional context. Furthermore, we research how to combat disinformation. We explore how to effectively reach vulnerable groups during crises and how to offer them an appropriate action strategy. We investigate how to better support effective citizen initiatives aimed at reducing this vulnerability. Lastly, we research how social networks impacted the spread of the coronavirus and how to present the results to policymakers in an understandable manner.

The knowledge gained will be used in subproject 5: Social and Urban Resilience for Pandemics and Disasters (SURE) Living Lab.