The basic premise of this study is that the collective engagement of the citizens in a disaster-prone city helps transform their city to become resilient. Many urban managers encourage citizen participation by providing a venue for citizens to engage in public issues, including those of city planning and management. Citizen participation is important in building a cohesive community, empowering its citizens, and enhancing their sense of ownership of their community and city as a whole. The research underscores that collective engagement and action have an influence in the transformation of a city. The study will use the concept of resilience in the socio-ecological systems context to build a conceptual framework on the transformation process. Cities are ecological systems with both natural- and built-environment characteristics. Cities are complex multidimensional systems with both the social (human) and the ecological (natural and built environments) tied together. The changing landscape and continuous exposure to disturbances put pressure on the social and ecological systems of a city. The paper discusses collective engagement as a systemic process for how a disaster-prone city transforms itself to become disaster resilient. Using the concept of panarchy as a process of adaptation and transformation, the paper will build a conceptual framework that highlights collectiveness as a way to become resilient. The paper underscores that collective engagement and action have an influence in the transformation of a city.