GENETICS: An Urban Stability Framework

Alexander Pytlar, Bryan Terrazas

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

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Global urbanization is occurring at an increasing rate, creating cities with unprecedented population density, size, and scale, stressing already vulnerable systems. Cities also serve as the site of new and increasingly critical factors for modern society across the social, political, and economic domains. At some point, these population centers will likely experience crises that demand external support, but there are few tools available to effectively evaluate a city’s stability and resilience to these crises.
It is critical that planners have a framework that can be applied when evaluating urban environments from which they may draw reasonable conclusions regarding decision-making. Existing US Department of Defense (US DoD) frameworks for analysing city environments are ill-suited to evaluate the upcoming urban stability issues cities will be facing in the twenty-first century and beyond. This study highlights important factors affecting the stability of future cities and emphasizes the growing importance of human dynamics and people’s expectations regarding urban situations and contexts. Dense urban environments are the hubs of technological opportunities and complications, increasingly interconnected international relations, and other significant risks and opportunities that impact and threaten urban stability.
The study offers a process to evaluate a city’s stability through three resilience dimensions - adaptive capacity, coping capacity, and expectancy benchmarks (or ACE) - and introduces an overarching taxonomy to comprehensively assess the city as a system-of-systems known as GENETICS. The GENETICS stability factors - Governance, Economics, Natural Environment, Energy, Technology and Communication, Culture, and Security – assessed across the ACE resilience dimensions, provides planners and decision-makers the ability to make informed decisions regarding urban stability.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022
Externally publishedYes
EventUrban Operations Expert Talks 2022: Introducing the Urban Operations Cell - Eisenerz, Austria
Duration: 19 Jul 202221 Jul 2022


ConferenceUrban Operations Expert Talks 2022


  • urban resilience
  • urban security
  • urban systems
  • urbanization

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