Theoretical Perspectives on Resilience and Sustainability in Transportation and Spatial Planning

Theoretical Perspectives on Resilience and Sustainability in Transportation and Spatial Planning


Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management, North West University (Potchefstroom Campus), South Africa

1 February 2018
| Citation



The debate on sustainability and resilience is dealt with by many authors working within the envi- ronmental, ecological and human settlement planning domains. These concepts and its interface can hardly be separated form the core focuses and processes involved in transportation and spatial planning as related disciplines. The terminology of resilience developed before the 1970’s whilst the debate on environmental sustainable development were formalized in the period 1972 to 1992. However, from a literature assessment perspective, the concepts are used and applied differently and sometimes interchangeably within both the ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ components involved in various disciplines and pro- fessions. The purpose of this paper is to focus on the founding theoretical perspectives underpinning resilience and sustainability and to apply it to the strategic approaches, focuses and instruments used in transportation and spatial planning and development. Mainstreaming of resilience and sustainability is essential as it concerns the core focuses of urban and rural development. Planning implies short, medium and long term strategies, policies and principles applied through instruments/tools with the goal and objective to plan and ensure resilience and sustainability in spatial systems. These are core considerations in transportation and spatial planning that need to be dynamic with the ability to accom- modate change, socio-economic, ecological, physical and natural issues and challenges.


resilience, spatial planning, sustainability, transport.


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