From a nice blogpost by Lizzie Richardson on the British Academy blog:
The ‘economy’, or the diverse practices of production, circulation and consumption that constitute the city, means turning attention towards the resources needed for urban life. So we might think here of the stuff that people eat, make, sell, chuck away and how this finds its way into and out of different parts of the city. Here urban resilience is certainly infrastructural, but that infrastructure is not purely ‘physical’ in any straightforward sense. The infrastructures that sustain urban economies include pop-up shops, street-level drug dealers, digital platforms, and so on. So through a focus on these economic practices, urban resilience shifts from being primarily a measure of the built environment to encompass the broader entanglements of the social and technical life of the city.
From this perspective, the economy then becomes a means of diversifying conventional approaches to urban resilience. In the workshop, discussion moved between different senses of functioning economy, some more drawn towards ‘survival-orientated’, some more towards ‘growth-orientated’ activity. For me, what is interesting about the term is precisely how it might bridge the human and non-human aspects of social life, and therefore direct attention towards the ways people are resourced for living with and through the changing ‘nature’ of the urban in the future.