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Resilience is a highly controversial scientific concept that has been widely disseminated in international policies and frameworks. However, operationalizing resilience remains problematic. This paper aims to understand how local actors, in this case cities, implement the resilience imperative. We analyze 82 resilience strategies produced by the cities that have joined the 100 Resilient Cities network, supported by the Rockefeller Foundation. We show that, on the one hand, resilience is not a given baseline that guides urban policies, but a local construction adapted to the specificities and characteristics of each city. Resilience is place-based designed in a performative way, as local actors grasp it and give it content. On the other hand, rather than specific objectives, we argue that resilience provides a method for both recognizing vulnerability and transforming security governance, thereby changing the risk and threat management regime.
Faced with increasing risks, risk management has gradually evolved by integrating new approaches, such as the concept of resilience. An innovative and relevant concept in the systemic approach to risks, resilience is nevertheless struggling to become operational. This term, which has become abstract, is not very appropriate for local actors and often remains at the level of political discourse. The challenge of current research in risk management is therefore to work on the operationalization of the concept by proposing decision support tools. This article presents different methodologies to overcome the abstraction of the concept. From indicators to modeling tools or collaborative approaches, these approaches aim to operationalize resilience concept. However, despite the contribution of these innovative methodologies, the excessive diversity of approaches adds complexity. This article therefore concludes on the interest of a resilience toolbox in the form of an observatory.