Building cities capable to withstand adverse conditions generated by climate, environmental, resource- or community-driven vulnerabilities is part of a global response aiming to strengthen our cities through enhancing their adaptive capacity of reaction. However, world city rankings identified above do not address specifically enough a modern-day threat to our cities: economic disasters. Sustainable urban development and resilient urban economies depend on the strength of property markets and subsequent construction sectors.

The 2008 credit crunch and subsequent economic recession have had a devastating impact on some of the European property markets. Some of the Central Eastern European (CEE) emergent markets have been mostly affected by a chronic lack of finance, poor government and governance and high perception of risks and vulnerability to investors in real estate. Property markets instability has affected local economies, local communities and urban and regional development.

Institutional investors and market analysts are aware of the prospect of another potential property market crisis within the next decade. In the current weakened EU economic context growth has been limited and austerity measures have come into strong conflict with economic investment requirements. Developing a set of factors that contribute to property market resilience to economic cycles and future recession should therefore become a priority for the local governments and investors in Europe.

How can emergent property markets become more resilient and what are the lessons that emergent property markets can learn from developed property markets in order to enhance their adaptive capacity of reaction to economic disasters?

The research aims to develop a model for appraising property market resilience in European capital and regional cities. Developed property markets were analysed in order to establish specific factors that helped them become more resilient to economic disasters. Lessons to be learnt and mistakes to be avoided are considered for the development of more resilience as part of CEE emergent property markets.

Establishing a successful model for appraising resilience in emergent and developed property markets will ultimately help with establishing a long-term European capital and regional city index of property market resilience as a tool for managing urban resilience to future economic disasters.