You’re mentioning the connections between the actors. So, resilience is not just how diverse actors in the system are, it is also how connected they are?
Yes, the health of the system is also about how the resources, species or social actors are spread and connected across the system. That’s why optimising connectivity between them makes another important principle to have in mind when designing resilient cities.
When I say connectivity, I refer to the formation and strength of migrations or interactions of resources, species or social actors across habitats or social domains. In a network language we use the word links to describe any interaction between the actors, or the nodes, in the network. Links could be present or absent between nodes, one-way (directed) or reciprocal. Some nodes are highly connected, while others may have few connections, or they can be isolated. Links between the nodes could also be weak or strong, which can be determined by various factors, such as corridor quality among habitats, preferences of a predator for specific prey, the visitation rate of a pollinator insect to a location, or the frequency of interactions between social actors.
Does that mean that “optimising” connectivity to design a resilient system actually means “increasing" connectivity?
Not always. Optimal connectivity is similar as optimal diversity and redundancy that we have discussed earlier, its about setting a balance, not following any particular direction.
For example, in human social networks, high connectivity between different social groups can increase information-sharing and help develop the trust between them necessary for collective action. On the other hand, high levels of connectivity among similar actors can hinder any collective process in cases of resource overexploitation. The latter happens when, for example, high connectivity of actors with similar characteristics leads to similar perspectives and knowledge about the resources they exploit.