Urban resilience refers to the capacity of a city's people, communities, institutions, businesses and systems to survive, adapt and grow, regardless of the types of chronic stress (e.g., ecological, social, economic) and acute shocks (e.g., related to weather, geophysics, hydrology, public health) they experience,* and their capacity to rapidly reconstitute quality living environments. Design and architecture can play a role in the development of solutions that properly address perceived long-term risks.
How can design and architecture contribute to greater urban resilience?
- Via a bioclimatic design approach that fosters reduction of the impacts of climate vulnerabilities (e.g., heavy rainfall, heat waves, flooding, drought and destructive storms).
- Via spatial planning strategies and construction methods that reduce the risks related to operations on and around worksites (e.g., spills, leaks, explosions).
- Via design of highly efficient systems that require fewer resources (e.g., primary resources, human resources, telecommunications) and that reduce pressure on networks so as to prevent disruptions, outages and shortages.
- Via off-grid power systems that compensate for disruptions (e.g., heat recovery and redistribution, production and storage of clean, passive and renewable energies).
- Via "reversible" spaces and services; i.e., the ability to easily adapt in order to host new uses depending on changing socio-economic needs, or to house public services or vulnerable population segments in crisis situations (e.g., ice storm, public health emergency, migrant crisis).
- Via spaces and services that allow for deployment of adaptive measures in the event of a crisis (e.g., public health measures in the context of a pandemic).
- Via reliable and functional emergency systems when required (including access, evacuation and emergency wayfinding systems).
- Via integration of specific security provisions in the event of a deliberate attack.