Resilience Garage

The Resilience Garage is a workshop for peer-review of corporate and municipal cases through a resilience lens.

Tool Overview

The Resilience Garage format was created and developed by Roland Kupers with support from 100 Resilient Cities.

A Resilience Garage convenes practitioners, scientists, and researchers from across sectors to challenge, learn, and hone their approaches to resilience building mainly by undertaking structured resilience challenges of specific, place-based, investment or development opportunities that a case owner is considering.

The Resilience Garage is a form of peer review performed by trans-disciplinary and cross-sectorial teams of resilience experts to improve the project’s likelihood of success. The Garage frames resilience as a complex systems property. Overall, the purpose of the Resilience Garage is to accelerate the application of resilience theory in practice and to refine resilience theory based on practical experience and empirical evidence. It is intended to generate both deeper learning, as well as create greater cross-sector collaboration.

Case Study: Singapore

The very success of the centralised governance model in Singapore has resulted in making it the default model for solutions. While it certainly continues to be powerful and relevant, the deeply interconnected nature of many of today’s challenges often requires innovative approaches. Understanding the network dynamics of those problems, and how more polycentric forms of governance can lead to higher resilience is a challenge for the future.

With this in mind the Civil Service College of Singapore was motivated to host a garage in partnership with the Centre for Liveable Cities, Singapore’s Resilience Working Group and DSM, a company involved in health and nutrition. The two cases explored were:

  1. Addressing increased urban heat from climate change
  2. How to best improve nutrition and address vitamin and mineral deficiencies amongst migrant workers in Singapore


The Resilience Garage was developed following the two-year Resilience Action Initiative. Participants included: Dow, DuPont, IBM, McKinsey and Co., Shell, Siemens, Swiss Re, Unilever and Yara. Roland Kupers Consultancy was the external advisor to the project. The format has been adopted by 100 Resilient Cities as a core tool to deploy in their city network.

The first Garage was hosted by Shell in partnership with 100 Resilient Cities and Roland Kupers Consult in Amsterdam in July 2014. Since then, the Garage has been deployed in the 100RC network over 7 times.

<p>Resilience is framed as a property of a complex urban system and practical solutions can be both top-down as well as bottom-up.</p>

Resilience is framed as a property of a complex urban system and practical solutions can be both top-down as well as bottom-up.

Case Study: Mexico City

With the goal of advancing conversations among stakeholders in mind, Mexico City’s CRO chose to convene a Resilience Garage as one of their Phase II strategy-development methods.

The specific impetus for the garage was the opportunity to imbue ongoing development of the new international airport with resilience thinking. The Garage was held over two days on April 21-22, 2016 and brought together over 40 high-level participants from public, private, international and academic sectors to tackle two tough cases:

  1. Given the impacts and tensions around the New Airport, how can we enhance the resilience of the region?
  2. How can development of the New Airport catalyze improvements that reduce travel times in the region?

Key Facts

Project Phase:  Idea, Project Definition

Scale: Complex system level

Format: 1-day workshop

Key Participants: Relevant city departments, case owners, and subject matter experts to create diverse perspectives

Outputs: High level, “blue sky” ideas to solve resilience problems identified in the workshop.The Resilience Garage will also result in an increased understanding in concepts of resilience and building relationships across departments, teams, and organizations

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