Urban resilience and sustainability of the city of Gondar (Ethiopia) in the face of adverse historical changes
Author / Authors:
Resilience and sustainability are concepts that are widely used in socio-ecological literature to assess the capacity of social and ecological systems to cope with hardship. Lately, these two concepts have gained importance in the planning literature as they are used in evaluating the resilience and adaptability of urban systems. Urban resilience refers to the ability of an urban system to adapt and fully function to maintain its form, structure and identity irrespective of hardship. Adaptability helps to understand the historical and cultural transformation of cities as they go through recovery after a major historical crisis. Based on concepts of resilience and sustainability, this paper analyses the historical transformation of the city of Gondar (Ethiopia) including the crises it faced in the 19th and early twentieth century. In the last hundred years, Gondar has struggled to maintain its historic identity and economic significance. This paper also identifies the strategic development measures that historic cities can take to revamp their economy and build a sustainable community. With a strong leadership and a visionary plan, historic cities can resort to their distinctive cultural resources and rich natural assets as they adapt to spur their economy and maintain their historic identity.
Planning Perspectives, DOI: 10.1080/02665433.2020.1753104 (Published online: 12 May 2020)