Research on community resilience has historically focused strongly on the local features of communities which in support of and display resilient behaviour in times of stress and in the face of a range of shocks. However, the argument presented in this paper is that both prior organisation — often within the realm of public space belonging to a community — and connectivity beyond the locality which reaches the international level, need to be taken into consideration as significant aspects of community resilience. Last but not least, organisation across spatial levels provides a new understanding of the role of public space. For instance, organised communities in Asia facilitate remedial responses to multiple risks that their local environment poses such as poor living conditions, neglected public spaces and the threat posed by natural or climate-change related disasters. These communities are self-organised and rooted locally which aids in creating alliances and supporting recovery actions led by the local authorities: all of which serve to lessen the gravity of these challenges. Public space often provides the opportunity for prior organisation. These collective actions are simultaneously place-based and embedded in transnational networks such as ‘Shack/Slum Dwellers International’ (SDI) or the ‘Asian Coalition for Housing Rights’ (ACHR). This account does not aspire to justify a shift of responsibilities from the state to collective actors. Instead, it seeks to contribute to an emerging analytical framework on translocal social resilience.
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