Global urbanization is occurring at an increasing rate, creating cities with unprecedented population density, size, scale, and population totals that were nearly unimaginable just a century ago. Cities are home to some of the most vulnerable systems that large proportions of the global population rely upon, such as water and sanitation limitations, as well as the site of new and increasingly critical factors such as enhanced internet-connectivity and profound electrical dependency. At some point, these new population centers will likely experience crises that demand outside involvement. The United States military is uniquely situated as well as expected to assist in these crises and respond to future conflicts. As such, it is critical that planners have a framework that can be applied when evaluating urban environments from which they may draw reasonable conclusions regarding decision-making. Existing Department of Defense (DoD) frameworks (i.e. PMESII-PT and ASCOPE) for analyzing and understanding current city environments are ill-suited to assess and evaluate the upcoming urban stability issues cities will be facing in the twenty-first century and beyond.
This study highlighted important factors affecting the stability of future cities, acknowledges the inability to bypass, surround, or ignore them as part of a larger conflict, and emphasizes the growing importance of human dynamics and people’s expectations regarding urban situations and contexts. Dense urban environments are the hubs of technological opportunities and complications, increasingly interconnected international relations, and other significant risks and opportunities that impact and threaten urban stability. The study offered a process to evaluates a city’s stability through ACE dimensions -adaptive capacity, coping capacity, and expectancy benchmarks -and introduces a tool providing a visualization of the team's GENETICS criteria -Governance, Economics, Natural Environment, Energy, Technology and Communication, Culture, and Security -within an overall framework that is applicable to any large urban center, and that provides planners and decision-makers the ability to make informed decisions regarding urban stability.