Principles and criteria for assessing urban energy resilience: A literature review

Ayyoob Sharifi, Yoshiki Yamagata

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

330 Citations (Scopus)


Between 60% and 80% of global energy is consumed in urban areas and given the projected increase in world׳s urban population, this share is expected to further increase in the future. Continuity of energy supply in cities is affected by climate change and a growing array of other threats such as cyber attacks, terrorism, technical deficiencies, and market volatility. Determined efforts, acknowledging the interactions and interlinkages between energy and other sectors, are needed to avoid adverse consequences of disruption in energy supply. Resilience thinking is an approach to management of socio-ecological systems that aims to develop an integrated framework for bringing together the (often) fragmented, diverse research on disaster risk management. The literature on urban resilience is immense and still growing. This paper reviews literature related to energy resilience to develop a conceptual framework for assessing urban energy resilience, identify planning and design criteria that can be used for assessing urban energy resilience, and examine the relationship of these criteria with the underlying components of the conceptual framework. In the conceptual framework, it is proposed that in order to be resilient, urban energy system needs to be capable of “planning and preparing for”, “absorbing”, “recovering from”, and “adapting” to any adverse events that may happen in the future. Integrating these four abilities into the system would enable it to continuously address “availability”, “accessibility”, “affordability”, and “acceptability” as the four sustainability-related dimensions of energy. The paper explains different resilience principles associated with these abilities and sustainability dimensions. Also, different planning and design criteria were extracted from the literature and categorized into five themes: infrastructure; resources; land use, urban geometry and morphology; governance; and socio-demographic aspects and human behavior. Examination of the relationship of these criteria with the underlying components of the conceptual framework highlighted the complexity and multi-faceted nature of energy resilience. Exploration of the relevance of the identified criteria to climate change mitigation and adaptation revealed that most of the identified criteria can provide both mitigation and adaptation benefits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1654-1677
Number of pages24
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jul 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Assessment
  • Climate change mitigation and adaptation
  • Criteria
  • Principles
  • Resilience
  • Sustainability
  • Urban energy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


Dive into the research topics of 'Principles and criteria for assessing urban energy resilience: A literature review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this