Corina Angheloiu

Thesis title:

Systems approaches for urban resilience capacity building – An action research inquiry


Minerva’s owl always flies at dusk is the old saying – wisdom always emerges in hindsight. This paradox however, has crippling effects in dealing with the challenges posed by the urgent need to adapt to the unknown and unpredictable effects of climate change. And nowhere is this adaptation need more urgent than in our cities. In recent years, cities have emerged as a vital implementation site for many Sustainable Development Goals, while also forming the focus of a standalone SDG (SDG11: Sustainable cities and communities). The 2018 IPCC Cities conference was seen as a “vital moment for local and regional governments” (UCLG, 2018), as for the first time the IPCC acknowledged the role of cities in addressing the causes and effects of climate change. The outcome of the conference, the Research and Action Agenda identifies systems approaches as a key knowledge gap and calls for advancements in action-oriented research (IPCC, 2018).


In responding to this context, my research explores the role of systems approaches in bridging knowledge – implementation gaps in urban resilience. Underpinned by three action research cycles, my research seeks to: 1) identify knowledge – implementation gaps and how they occur; 2) develop and test novel approaches to capacity building as an intervention to bridge these gaps; 3) test and evaluate the role communities of practice can play in sustaining the process of capacity building.

As part of my research activities, I co-host the podcast Urban Resilience Dialogues and convene an international Urban Resilience Community of Practice for mid-career urban practitioners, researchers, and policy makers.

First supervisor:

Mike Tennant


8 – Urbanisation, Social Change & Urban Transformation




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Urban Resilience Dialogues Podcast – Urban Resilience Community of Practice –