Designing for Urban Resilience

It is difficult to design for a destructive event of unknown magnitude before it happens. There are just too many variables. If you can’t quantify the problem, how can you design the solution?

There are at least two ways to reduce those variables: one is to design for a specific threat, (for instance flooding or earthquake); the other is to design for the system (e.g. food or transport), rather than the threat. This session will focus on consideration of the latter.

An urban system’s resilience is complex, open-ended and messy. While all cities share certain characteristics, each city has evolved in ways specific to its landscape. This evolution provides a key to its vulnerabilities, and also its adaptive opportunities.

When designing for a system, you’re not interested so much in strengthening a system but rather in enabling or encouraging a collaborative or improvised response to a wide range of disturbances that can also stimulate innovations with benefits to our everyday lives.

Presenter Victoria University Landscape Architect Martin Bryant has been researching urban resilience since 2007 with his research partner Professor Penny Allan.

Their research has included extensive studies into the influences of urban morphology on recovery in earthquake affected cities, and design research into the opportunities for pre-disaster planning in New Zealand.

When: Friday September 18, 12:00 – 1:30pm