Urban resilience implies the ability of all components of a city system to maintain or restore their functions following unforeseen events, and the ability to adapt to external changes. We apply the concept of resilience and adaptation to Slavutych atomograd following the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Station explosion. Challenges and responses facing the urban management and planning systems are examined. Perceptions of Slavutych's resilience capacity are integrated into research based on a survey of residents. The main challenges faced were lack of targeted financing; insufficient economic diversification and professional employment opportunities; an aging population and outmigration of youth and professionals; physical remoteness from the Kyiv Region; declining quality of municipal infrastructure, poor housing and community services; and slow introduction of market mechanisms. Resilience potential formation is used in effective municipal management practices, stimulating innovations in nuclear/alternative energy, IT, and cultural/artistic events. Urban management and planning systems remain active and are ongoing. © Springer Nature B.V. 2020.