TOPIC 03

T3.7: Resilience, Digitality and Handling Flows of Information

As part of this session, issues of governance in relation to information management, sharing and accessibility, and the benefits and risks of digitalization for resiliency building, governance and environmental experiences were central to the discussion.

The session included a diverse range of takes on resilience. Some presentations tackled specific aspects of resilience such a climate adaptation and mitigation (Haupt, Chelleri), emergency frameworks (Lanelis, Ruchinskaya), or environmental governance (Foo), while others included resilience as part of their approach to larger issues of environmental justice, benefits of nature exposure and smart solutions/digitalization (Barthel). 

The subsequent discussion focused on the risks of technology, such as the increasing consumption of energy of technologies, the concentration of power and influence in a small number of technology companies, and the risk of disinformation and manipulation of public sentiment. The risk of bringing standards and assumptions of the global north to global south cities through learning exchanges, resiliency networks and other global programs was also highlighted, noting the possibility of specific agendas/interests influencing the kind of solutions that are promoted through these networks.

 

Transnational City Resilience Networks as facilitators of Policy Learning and Implementation?
Wolfgang Haupt, Lorenzo Chelleri

The presentation discussed to what extend city-to-city learning exchanges contribute to implementation of resiliency policies and programs, particularly in the context of climate adaptation and mitigation. Through a review of different networks and cities, and a particular study/survey of exchanges supported by Eurocities’ Twinning Programme, the authors found that: 1) these programs increase credibility of ideas or policies within a municipal administration; 2) they are used as strategic instruments by mentor cities; 3) only lead to substantial learning results in the learning city but not so much in the mentor city; 4) only under certain conditions lead to policy adoption in a learning city. In regards to this last point, the study identified that peer cities should not be too different to each other (in terms of size, capacity, institutional, context, adaptation challenges), and that transnational learning requires understanding the different context of cities and takes time. As such, the researchers raised questions about how the learnings of pioneering cities can be effectively transferred to other smaller cities without similar resources, and suggested that exchanges involving peer-learning between similar cities can be more effective than mentoring exchanges among cities with very different capabilities.

A critical examination of urban resilience in an era of authoritarian environmental governance
Katherine Foo

This presentation started from a critical view of assumptions made around resiliency practice and research worldwide, which is often built on democratic ideals of participation, government proceedings and data-driven decision-making, whereas the reality in the governance of many cities is far from this. The empirical research identified the flow of information and voices between decision makers and citizens as critical aspects where accountability sabotage can occur, and highlighted the importance of raising the resilience of urban & regional economies, as well as the resilience of urban institutions and governance frameworks. A key challenged mentioned by the researcher is the need to disaggregate systems thinking, in order to study the actors, networks and relationships, as well as the different framings and narratives differents actors bring.

Building Urban Resilience of Public Places in Volos (Greece). Perspectives and possibilities of related contributions of digital tools.
Konstantinos Lalenis,Tatiana Ruchinskaya

The presentation looked at the function of public spaces for building urban resilience, particularly in the aspects of emergency and adaptation to risk. Through a case study of Volos (Greece), the study aims to argue that Blockchain has the capacity to facilitating the strengthening of the adaptation capacity of public spaces. It pointed out that current plans focus only on Earthquake risks, omitting climate change adaptation, flood risk and other threats, and fail to provide an adequate, equitable or flexible response. It also identified the lack of criteria for the selection of safe, diverse, accessible and multi-functional evacuation places. Following a review of the lack of resiience adaptation capacity of public spaces, the presenter jumped to the claim that Blockchain’s decentralized nature (compared to regular IT systems) can provide a resilient technological platform to build the city’s public spaces’ adaptation capacity.

On smart cities, sustainability and resilience: understanding the digital city revolution
Stephan Barthel

The presentation made a strong case for the health and social benefits provide by nature exposure and nature experiences. It then highlighted the risk that digitalization and the implementation of smart city models can have in terms of a decrease of social interactions, affecting social capital, sense-of-place and exacerbating digital divides and exclusion, as well as a decrease in human-nature connections and the health benefits associated with it. However, it also recognize the innovative use of big spatial data to identify gaps and environmental inequity, facilitating the equitable distribution of green spaces and other nature based solutions.  

T3.6: BEGIN Panel on NBS and Social Innovation

This sessions focuses on many methods and projects within the BEGIN framework, a collaborative project that takes place between 10 cities and 6 research institutions in the North Sea Region. The goal of the project is to promote City to City learning and social innovation for creation of blue-green infrastructure (BGI).

BGI is the use of green infrastructure in cities to recreate a natural water cycle to reduce flooding and provide a myriad of other benefits for cities. BGI not only makes cities more climate-resilient by addressing issues of rising water levels, but also makes cities more resilient against increased pressure on urban services and declining community health.

The five presentations in this session represent different aspects and developments within the BEGIN framework which is a network designed to facilitate the sharing of knowledge in regard to BGI project implementation and encompasses 10 cities and 6 research institutions within the North Sea Region.  BGI is an important aspect of building urban resilience not simply in its ability to control flooding by incorporating a natural water cycle into an existing city, but also cultivating forms of social resilience through community revitalization and its benefits to physical and mental health.  A common thread throughout the presentations was that to ensure successful implementation of BGI, strategies need to be reframed to involve engagement of stakeholders, such as youth populations, health departments, and the private sector, that don’t fall within the traditional technical approach to BGI.  Given their relatively new nature, however, more time is needed to analyze whether an initiative like BEGIN will yield a notably more resilient collection of cities.

BEGIN- Blue Green Infrastructure through social innovation
Saira Ali

In her presentation, Saira Ali spoke about the importance of blue green infrastructure (BGI) in promoting sustainability, reducing costs and losses associated with floods, improving mental and physical health, sparking a tourism industry, creating jobs, and increasing community links with the landscape.   The presentation primarily focused on the success of transforming the €40 billion Shipley Canal Road Corridor in Bradford, UK into a BGI project. In a reaction to major damages and losses due to flooding in 2015, what was originally intended to be merely a highway expansion project was altered to include a comprehensive linear park through the center of the city.   The goal of the project was to help create a vibrant new sustainable community within the underserved Bradford Beck neighborhood , with high quality homes, new job opportunities, better green connectivity, and space to promote ecology, increased biodiversity, and recreation. The ability to co-opt an existing project into a BGI project was engagement of stakeholders at early stages and strong focus on the economic benefits of BGI for the city.  It was also important to properly convey to residents and local authorities, the role a project like this would serve in both the vision and branding of the city.   

The governance of Blue Green Infrastructure Funding: A case study comparison from the UK and the Netherlands
Anna Kenyon, Jannes Willems, Astrid Molenveld, Liz Sharp

In their presentation, Anna Kenyon and Jannes Willems provided a comparative analysis of the governance of blue-green infrastructure projects in Bradford, UK and Dordrecht, The Netherlands.  The project in Bradford seeks to develop greenspace, increase connectivity, and enhance biodiversity along a highway expansion in the underserved community of Bradford Beck.  The project involved collaboration of external stakeholders and several government agencies such as those for highways, landscaping, drainage, health, and the environment. In this example, stakeholders tended to find shared agendas and funding streams became a diver of the collaboration process.  The project in Dordrecht in seeks to reduce flooding and social issues in the underserved neighborhood of Vogelbuurt by incorporating sewer management with the redevelopment of recreational sports facilities.  This project, which was a bid for EU funding, also incorporated strong collaboration between external stakeholders and government agencies, however there was a challenge in communicating the connection of city-wide improvements with the day-to-day lives of residents.   One notable difference between these two examples was the involvement of the municipal health department.  In Vogelbuurt, the project was led primarily by the spatial planning department with only consultation to the health department.  However, in Bradford, the health department was incorporated a central stakeholder which ultimately made the project more successful.  Health issues were more central to project proposal and collaboration with the health department provided a significant increase in resources and funding allocated to the BGI project.

Design for Social Innovation in the Context of Urban Resilience
Qian Sun, John Makepeace, Nicolas Rebolledo, Nick de Leon

In this presentation, Qian Sun discussed how social-institutional barriers, and not technical ones, were the greatest challenge to successful implementation and continuation of blue-green infrastructure (BGI).  This talk focused principally on the how to get larger community involvement and ownership of BGI in the context of the Park Wellands in Enfield, UK and and the High-Street redevelopment in Kent, UK.  Four projects were conceived in order to address issues regarding a disconnect in where flooding occurs and BGI is proposed and relational issues between different groups and the local authorities: Park Frog, Little Gardens Club, Open Parks, and Compass.  Park Frog is a video game modeled after Pokemon Go to promote use of green space and address the under representation of youth in BGI decision-making.  Little Gardens Club is a project that unites stakeholders to more efficiently share resources among high school gardening clubs, therefore ensuring their longevity in their ability to foster appreciation of gardening among youth populations  Open Parks is a park and community management service.  It involved workshops ad social media marketing to address and resolve issues in the current model and level of engagement.  Compass is a project focussed on communication and addressing the lack of trust between the public and the city council, especially in addressing community concerns that BGI investment is a waste of money.  All four of these projects are exploratory in nature and there is likely little chance that they will be implemented for long term use.

Rhetoric to Practice: Getting to new government forms for urban blue-green infrastructures
Jannes Willems, Sebastiaan Herk

In his presentation, Jannes Willems discusses how blue-green infrastructure (BGI) poses a diverse array of benefits for cities including enhancing biodiversity, improving community health, and reduced strain on drainage systems.  Traditional conversation surrounding BGI, however, tend to be driven primarily by engineering and technocratic perspectives.  In recent years, dialogue has evolved to acknowledge a more holistic interpretation of the nature  and benefits of BGI.  Public policy on BGI, however, still lags on,adapting this understanding and this can be a barrier for implementation.  In order to move BGI concepts into reality, it is vital to take advantage of both internal and external integration of stakeholders and to broaden the conceptualization of BGI projects.  Internal Integration involves greater collaboration with stakeholders within the public sphere by processes such as integration of new government departments, public participation, and increasing educational services.  External integration involves greater crossover with the private sector by methods such as collaborative governance and engagement with non-public stakeholders.  To broaden the conceptualization of BGI, it is beneficial to move from “Closed BGI” projects, which focus on nature-based solution and engineering approaches, to “Open BGI” projects, which take a more holistic developmental approach to BGI which provides opportunities to also revitalize neighborhoods.   Both the greater levels of engagement and more holistic visioning of BGI can help both in public buy-in and accessing public and private funding streams.

BEGIN: Experiences, methods, and guidelines to accelerate effective city to city learning to reach transformational change
Sebastiaan Herk, Lorenzo Chelleri, Wolfgang Haupt, Max Berkelmans

In his presentation, Sebastiaan van Herk discusses how City to City (C2C) learning is a vital process in which cities can exchange best practices to facilitate transformational change in in fields such as urban resilience.  The concept of C2C learning is nothing new and many initiatives strive to provide successful platforms to foster these types of exchanges. Often time, however, the result is carried out in an unstructured manner which limits the efficacy of the approach.    Research demonstrates that in order to be effective, C2C leaning needs to be practice-focused, well-documented, and reviewed during and after projects reach completion.  Within the BEGIN framework, certain tools have been developed with help from the european innovation firm, Bax & Company.  Successful C2C engagement should be structured to match participating cities based on expertise, strengths, and needs.  Projects should be organized on how they performed according to the “10 Essentials of BGI.” These “essentials” help asses local capacities at the time of implementation and can be used in order to match corresponding cities.  In this way, successes such as the Shipley Canal Road Corridor in Bradford, UK can be shared with municipalities with similar developmental goals and administrative constraints.  Future applications of this knowledge sharing could also involve individual and non-public stakeholders.  

T3.5: Panel on City-University & Resilience

The Panel on “City-University & Resilience” and its approach to diverse government-university partnerships in diverse projects is providing a new understanding of urban resilience implementations.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines reframe as the action to change the way something is expressed or considered. On the other hand, according to Meerow et al (2015) urban resilience refers to the ability of an urban system and – all its constituent socio-ecological and socio-technical networks across temporal and spatial scales – to maintain or rapidly return to desired functions in the face of a disturbance, to adapt to change, and to quickly transform systems that limit current or future adaptive capacity. The Resilience Alliance (2007) claims that the urban system is composed of four major subsystems which are “governance networks”, “metabolic flows,” the “built environment,” and “social dynamics”. Governance networks refer to the diverse range of actors and institutions whose decisions shape urban systems. This includes the levels of government (denoted by “states”), nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and businesses (Meerow et al, 2015). 

The research presented during this argued the need to reformulate the role of universities in city-decision processes. Moreover, Fletcher Beaudoin and Beth Ferguson began their presentations by citing Buckminster Fuller: “You never change things by fighting against the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete”. Beaudoin, Ferguson, and all the six panelists claimed the importance to promote a new model of participation among the different levels of government and the universities, where the latter will become real cities’ actors while working in project-based transdisciplinary researches. This action can contribute to build sustainable capacities and to promote a more resilient approach to cities’ interventions.

Finally, even though, rethinking this partnership is momentous, it is also important to acknowledge that the “governance networks” expressed in the Resilience Alliance  (2007) will not be complete if nongovernmental organizations, public and private partners, and the community itself start to get involved in urban resilience transdisciplinary implementations.

City-university Partnerships and Capacity Building: Integrated resilience planning in Portland, Oregon
Fletcher Beaudoin, Liliana Caughman

Fletcher Beaudoin, assistant director at the Institute for Sustainable Solutions at Portland University, invites us to rethink the role of universities in decisions that shape urban systems. He claims that promoting transdisciplinary social infrastructures can help universities to become cities’ actors. To exemplify his argument, he presented “CapaCity”, an initiative supported by the Global Consortium for Sustainability Outcomes (GCSO) that encourages the active participation of universities in cities decision making. Nowadays, there are six universities from Germany, Mexico and the USA involved in “CapaCity”: Arizona State University (ASU), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Portland State University (PSU), Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) and Leuphana University of Lueneburg. The “CapaCity” initiative promotes key factors that can facilitate city-university partnerships, which are: mutual understanding of the context, motivation and engagement, commitment from both sides, interest in working together, and having resources and structures that enable this type of actions. The ultimate goal of this city-university partnership is to promote transdisciplinary projects that generate social infrastructure that endures.

Panel: Building effective city-university partnerships for accelerating resilience implementation
Liliana Caughman, Fletcher Beaudoin, Lauren Keeler, Beatrice John, Philip Bernert

Liliana Caughman is a graduate research assistant at the Institute for Sustainable Solutions at Portland University, who is behind the Resilience Infrastructure Planning Exercise (RIPE), where researchers, project managers and members of four city council bureaus (parks & recreation, water, environmental services, transportation) work together in cross bureau discussions and actions. Convening, context and capacity are the three main axes of this initiative. In this case, the university helped to put together the capacities and knowledge of the different actors of the city council bureaus in order to have a better understanding of the city and its challenges. Nowadays, this project is moving from a big action plan to a specific project under the umbrella of the Disaster Resilience and Recovery Action Group (DRRAG).

Urban resilience as learning: Building transformative capacity through game-based approaches in Tempe, Arizona
Lauren Keeler

Lauren Keeler is assistant research professor in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society at Arizona State University which is part of the “CapaCity” initiative. Keeler uses collaborative games as a tool of building capacities. Future shocks & city resilience and AudaCity were two of the games implemented in the partnership between the city of Tempe, Arizona and the Arizona State University. The university is developing diverse projects in collaboration with different bureaus of the city council. However, while implementing them, a question about the means to align diverse assets towards a common goal based on the city government’s aspirations has remained unanswered.

City-wide sustainability visioning and real-world laboratories, City of Lueneburg, Germany
Beatrice John, Philip Bernert

Philip Bernert is research fellow at the Faculty of Sustainability at the Leuphana University of Lueneburg. The CapaCity initiative that is being held by this university is the Lueneburg 2030+, which is a transdisciplinary research held by local actors, managers of the city’s sustainability department, and faculty and students of different fields. They worked together in partnership based on respect, appreciation and trust. The 2030+ project has been implemented in three phases: “Develop” with 25 visions proposed, “Planning” that created 17 measures, and finally “Real world implementation” with 8 interventions in the city. This project is rethinking the research process from a target knowledge perspective to a transdisciplinary knowledge action.

Resilient Planning Implementation: the Case of the Politecnico di Torino University Campus
Caterina Barioglio, Daniele Campobenedetto, Giulia Sonetti

Caterina Barioglio, Daniele Campobenedetto and Giulia Sonetti were part of the transdisciplinary team of the Politecnico di Torino that developed the 2016 Master Plan for Torino. The Master Plan was a sharing tool that promoted multi-stakeholders interactions, which was based on a circular process method incorporating diverse requirement frameworks (needs, technical issues, strategies) and project scenarios (teaching, timing and procedures, business plan). The Master Plan Method designed shared-need frameworks and built shared urban visions. While developing the 2016 City Master Plan, the team faced some challenges like understanding the city’s built heritage, the necessity to incorporate new and different needs to the urban context and the lack of space for new developments. Some of the tools used to address these challenges were: decision making through problem mapping, dialogue with technicians while using different types of drawings, design actions considering spaces and systems and low budget interventions. 

Creative partnerships for emergency solar charging stations
Beth Ferguson

Beth Ferguson is Assistant Professor of Design at The University of California Davis and director of Sol Design Lab, a design/build studio that specializes in solar charging stations and public art, and promotes the implementation of technology as a tool to develop and promote new mobility strategies. The electric drive solar kiosk, is one of the projects promoted by this studio. It is an innovative combination of solar technology, energy storage, public art and civic place making.  This kiosk provides energy to charge electric bikes, wheel chairs, scooters and mobile electronics. It was developed by the University of Texas, but now it has been implemented in the city of Austin under a partnership of Sol Design Lab with the city council. This project seeks to “disrupt” the use of car while promoting solar micro-mobility and resilient place-making. Ferguson argues the need to change our perception about transportation, understanding it as a service and not as a product. The author acknowledges that technology-based projects similar to the electric drive solar kiosk follow a discriminatory platform and that it is a gap that should be addressed in future researches.  

T3.4: Resilience and Mobility

Cities are complex ecosystems that present both, challenges and opportunities to the environment and its population. Resilience in this sense can be seen as a way of persistence, transition, and transformation of the urban area that when it comes to mobility, as it can support the growing population rather than neglecting its social justice or unsustainable development.

In this session, the concept of urban resilience discussed is aligned to what Chelleri, Waters, & Olazabal (2015) describe: “ (…) the framework of urban resilience should be related to wider sustainability challenges, including i) climate change and natural hazard threats, ii) unsustainable urban metabolism patterns and iii) increasing social inequalities in cities. (Chelleri, Waters, & Olazabal, p. 1, 2015). The second point raised -unsustainable urban metabolism patterns- is of particular importance when referred to mobility, as it influences directly the other two points raised. Said in other words, the way we choose -or not- to move and design mobility networks in the city affects our lives in different ways, as we depend more in car infrastructures: from generating less permeable surfaces (streets) that put our environment and lives at risk, to the way they create social and economic imbalances and produce health vulnerability. 

From different perspectives, the four presenters tackled this issues at two different scales of intervention: first two speakers talked about solutions in a micro scale (local scale), while the last two speakers focused on macro solutions (global scale of cities). This is vital when talking about resilience, as explained in Chelleri, Waters, & Olazabal (2015) and Meerow (2016), since interventions need to address multi-scales and temporal aspects -be it from the urban level to the neighborhood level- that create resilience by parts, as a comprehensive kind of resilience that incorporates the sustainability challenges. We need to address resilience towards mobility by designing a more integrated and inclusive approach, not only by improving technology but also changing behaviors. Synergies need to be improved between resilience and sustainability as the SDG11 aims to do, but still in a very theoretical way.

Secondly, as discussed in these presentations, it is important to highlight the fact that nowadays we do not lack of resilience strategies but we do lack a comprehensive vision, since most of the times there is a winner and a loser related to resilience. How many times are people left behind? How is it that the power relationships always affect this? Why is it that the usage of apps to share cars –which is a good thing for sustainability- leaves behind other parts of the population that do not have access to cell phones? “Responding to these sustainability challenges requires, we argue, an integrated framework for urban resilience that incorporates sustainability, and deals with cross-scale implications (trade-offs) among systems, capacities, vulnerabilities and time periods.” (Chelleri, Waters, & Olazabal, p. 1, 2015). We need a more cohesive vision that enables us to change the environment so as to facilitate things to population, not to fragment it. Maybe citizen science can help to mitigate this, since it is becoming more popular and is creating citizen empowerment towards a balanced resilience.   

The resilient cycle network. The case study of Montesilvano
Antonio Alberto Clemente

Montesilvano’s prevention towards floods caused by intense rains is still unsolved, as the sewage system keeps overflowing. This brings critical socio, economic, and environmental consequences that are aggravated during summer when the city becomes a sea side attraction. Despite the fact that the only response to floods is provided by Civil Protection and firemen, nothing is done to prevent it. Clemente introduces the Slow mobility and soil project –created by the Research Convention between the Department of Architecture of Pescara and the Municipality of Montesilvano- as a cycle network project that can solve this issue. He explains numerous successful examples of it, as: Boston, Melbourne, Philadelphia and Copenhagen. In the case of Montesilvano, the main aim is to “Transform water from a potential risk element to a strategic resource for the resilience of the urban system, working on the hypothesis that the cycling network has to contribute to become collection and management of rainwater.” It is about living with water, but there is a need to change practices in all sectors (technical, imperative social, economic and political).

This presents new challenges to Montesilvano city. First, as the research has proved that not in all sectors of the city this can be implemented and it implicates a lot of economic investment. And second, as this is a new field of research in this context, that aims to improve the relationship between resilience, adaptive capacity and its building infrastructures. However, worldwide this has already been researched and implemented positively as it decreases the pressure in existing sewage systems (by using prefabricated channels) and reusing this water for irrigation and evaporation.

Analyzing transit-based heat exposure and behaviors to enhance urban climate adaptation and mitigation strategies in the southwest USA
Yuliya Dzyuban, David Hondula, Charles Redman, Ariane Middel

Phoenix, Arizona presents extreme weather conditions, as the temperature rises over 38 °C for more than 110 days per year. This fact is vital when studying how people flow in this city, as the most vulnerable population towards this climate are the ones using the public system since the average time spent exposed to the heat is 21min per journey and public transport use is unequally distributed in the city. This brings negative consequences for sustainability and resilience goals that need to be addressed in the Phoenix transportation 2050 policy, as people feel more reluctant to use public transport when the infrastructure is not meeting their needs.

Dzyuban identified a gap that needs to be addressed specifically in this policy, but also globally in the resilience field. She acknowledges the importance on researching the psychological, physiological and physical perception of environmental variables (Nikolopoulou & Steemers, 2003; Rupp, Vásquez, & Lamberts, 2015). By the analysis of these three perceptions, people are able to adapt to the environment to minimize discomfort. In the case of Phoenix, thermal discomfort in the bus stops is the main issue when it comes to public transport. Therefore, the research goes through the environmental variables that affect physiological comfort and examine psychological perceptions of heat in way people use the different typologies of bus stops. Several methodologies such as observation and interviews reveal how important the design to achieve thermal comfort is. Some of the findings are related to the materials used (such as steel benches that get hot easily…but, what to prioritize? Vandalism or climate comfort?), the aesthetics (how they look), and the importance of incorporating natural features into the bus stop so that public transport is used frequently.

Resilience and mobility demand. Towards a redefinition of urban polycentricity. Madrid Urban Area analysis, 1996-2004-2014
Gonzalo Sánchez-Toscano, Agustín Hernández Aja

Sánchez-Toscano starts by explaining the definition of resilience he is going to refer to: “The ability of groups and communities to cope with external stresses and disturbances as a result of social, political and environmental changes” (Adger, 2000). Under this conceptual framework, he identifies stresses such as disruptive events and slow-burn events (Coafee & Lee, 2016) that enabled him to focus his work on resilience related to energy consumption and resource scarcity. Nowadays fossil fuel scarcity is explained by the demand for mobility in urban areas combined with the price of fossil fuels rising, which leads to oil vulnerability. Taking into account this, we can recognize that oil vulnerability is not aligned with the definition of resilience presented in the beginning. We cannot have resilient areas if depend on oil, and these are related to functional structures: a decrease in energy consumption, mobility demand, oil vulnerability, and long-distance flow leads to resilience.

In his research, Sánchez-Toscano examines how monocentric structure (classic) and polycentric structure (less resilient) work differently. He identifies that there is a need to redefine polycentrism from a resilience perspective in order to generate a balance of flows between different parts of urban areas.  Policentricity for resilience is based on shorter distance flows (as internal moves are generated). This is explained by the case of Madrid and its evolution 1996-2004-2014 by mapping and graphing the results given by CRTM surveys. To do this, he uses two indicators: the IMI (inner mobility index) and OMI (outer mobility index) that display how in some cases the structure resulted successful for resilience while in others not.   

In conclusion, this idea of polycentrism for resilience should be integrated into urban policies so as to reduce mobility demand in the urban area. In this way, districts and municipalities can work as sub-centers, which decentralize the classic structure and avoid long-distance dependencies in order to become more resilient.

Reframing Urban and Transport Planning: High Stakes for Our Health
Carolyn Daher, Mark Nieuwenhuijsen

We are facing a stage in human life in which most human activities are developed in urban areas. This has direct impacts on the way we live, as 23% of deaths in the world are caused by environmental factors. In this way, Daher sustains that heath is both: a prerequisite to and an indicator of sustainable and resilient urban development and she recognizes that there is a gap between planning interventions and the factors that cause diseases (which come from outside the health sector).

Under this idea, health can be a driver of design. This is why The Urban Planning Environment and Health Initiative was created by ISGlobal, as an organizational model that translates and applies rigorous scientific evidence, tools and indicators to promote sustainable and healthy urban development. Examining the case of Barcelona, Daher explains how evidence can be translated to promote healthy cities, and particularly how mobility can lead to air pollution, noise pollution, less green spaces and sedentary lifestyle if not planned correctly.

Some of the challenges identified in this research are timing, responsibilities, and competencies, funding, aligning political and research cycles, the role of academia, understanding governance mechanisms, and the influence on the usage of private cars. Nevertheless, this research presents itself as a starting point that enables us to generate scenarios with tools (health evidence) in order to create shifts in urban and transport planning. In many cases, health comes last over economic factors when planning, and this needs to change.

T3.3: Urban Resilience Morphology and Space

The session “Urban Morphology and space” provided diverse case studies applied around the world, in terms of small and medium scale intervention that could impact, in some way, the urban resilience processes.

In order to reframe urban resilience, the interventions within the session were focused on how urban design and architecture itself, had been in constant change in order to adapt to the new challenges. The diverse contexts and approaches on urban morphology presented during the session, clearly shows the need to adapt cities and its conditions to the new challenges.

From system ecology to urban morphology: towards a theory of urban form resilience
Alessandra Feliciotti, Ombretta Romice, Sergio Porta

The first presentation by Alessandra Feliciotti “From system ecology to urban morphology: towards a theory of urban form resilience” started describing how the urban form is perceived as a plastic and adaptive process, since cities have been consequence of a constant change.   New meanings, functions and structures respond to the pressure of change. The concept of resilience has been utilized in different contexts to understand processes related to: natural, social, economic eco-system and urban system. Understanding Resilience from the urban aspect, the city is seen as a device with  plastic capacities to adapt. The capacity of places and their form to adapt to new requirements and progressively redirect their trajectory, coevolving with their context.

For the purpose of understanding in a deeper form the urban resilience, it is required to provide an appropriate theoretical framework from which to derive fundamental qualities contributing to the resilience of places, as well as specific assessment tools for addressing properties of urban forms related to resilience. She considers important to integrate the knowledge generated on urban form, to the discourse of urban resilience. System ecology and urban morphology, both share common interest in  physical space, patterns and how change takes place.

System ecology concept was incorporated starting in 2001 by the heuristic theory of chance,  understood as an adaptive cycle that involves time. In the other hand, the concept of urban morphology is linked to the burgage cycle, were phases are involved as part of its process. By overlapping this two different concepts there are certain similarities found, and where the concept of panarchy, also appears. Urban Morphology has a compositional hierarchy but at the same time, there is also a temporal aspect involved. Not all components change simultaneously, changes occur according to the scale, for example block structures, streets, etc. The dualism between small and large, fast and slow, conservative and innovative inherent in the Panarchy, is at the very core of  evolutionary resilience. Also complex systems are resilient, because they appear to resist change or change slowly despite the interchange and evolution of individual components and the relationships between these components.

As a conclusion, Alessandra considers the urban form a complex an adaptive system embedded in a web of complex, non-linear, emergent relations with all other systems. Different components and different scales integrate the system. Urban transformations, starting from the interior of a building, its skin (facade), to a bloc transformation or an urban regeneration project. 

Urban form Resilience Urban Design Practice: Masterplanning for Change
Ombretta Romice, Sergio Porta, Alessandra Feliciotti

Adding a complementary part to the previous session, Sergio Porta introduced the Master Planning for Change, an evidence based approach to place making, with a brief video to showcase what placemaking is about. He considers that an urban system consists of multiple components, co- dependant and inter-  dependent and together they provide a holistic view. These consist of a physical, institutional and human systems.  To illustrate again, the complexity of an urban system, Sergio presented a second video that reviled how flexible and changing could a building be during a period of time. He believes that in order to understand the urban morphology, it is convenient to juxtapose the urban capacities: diversity, redundancy, modularity, connectivity and efficiency with the different layers of the urban scale: sanctuary areas, streets, blocks, streets.

He makes reference to the three important redevelopment periods: The First occurred during 1800- 1890, the second from 1950-1970 and the third started in 1990 until now. After this, he  was focused into a particular zone in London to illustrate how also urban uses are being in constant change as part of the process. After going through 900 different case studies, for a better understanding of urban morphology, he had developed 207 indicators of urban form to conclude with the following: It is fundamental to integrate the component of evolution while designing in an urban scale, diversity and unity can lead to a certain beauty in terms of place making.

Implementing the New Urban Agenda: a platform of Sustainable Urban Design Interventions (IDUS) in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)
Margarita Greene, Rodrigo Mora, Maria Augusta Hermida, Circe Monteiro, Amado Villarreal, Patricio Pinto, Camilo Arriagada, Geraldine Herrmann, Jorge Inzulza, Elizabeth Wagemann

The third presentation was given by Margarita Greene, she developed the topic “A platform of sustainable urban design in Latin America and the Caribbean. Margarita is part of CEDEUS, a multidisciplinary network of researchers focused on urban sustainability in Latin America and the Caribbean, where the main propose is the exchange and construction of links between different stakeholders, aiming to orient every intervention to public policies. 

Their main lines of action were organized in 6: Social cohesion an equality (livable cities), urban frameworks, spatial development, urban economy urban ecology and environmental and urban housing and basic services. Taking advantage of the innovative inside of Latin America, they decided to develop a book to showcase different urban projects that could fit in the framework that was previously established. Sharing sustainable interventions at urban level has developed what they called, an Atlas of urban cases. For this, they have decided to establish 4 main pillars: socio- cultural, economic, environmental and politic which have developed a new concept: sustainability as a process through which past and future communities flourish harmoniously. A new concept emerged out of the research: Sustainable urban development intervention (IDUS), that refers to different scale interventions (local, city and metropolitan/regional) and at the same time, where the conditions of replicability can be also addressed.

Margarita presented three specific case studies, included in the Atlas, where the three different urban scales are mentioned. The first referred to the local scale, Plaza de Bolsillo Santa Isabel  (pocket plaza), which takes place in Santiago de Chile. This small size intervention had to do with the  community involvement. The second was Mapocho Pedaleable, also refers to an urban intervention in Santiago in a medium city scale. At last, Parque Capibarible in Recife, Brazil which refers to the metropolitan scale. The contribution of sharing good practices and validated projects through a platform could putting together the thinkers and the doors in order to avoid the gap between the public sector and the academy in order to develop public policies.

Urban waterways in Bangkok - A spatial resilience approach towards a more amphibiously-sustainable living space
Benjamin Casper

Benjamin Casper addressed the session from a particular case study in Bangkok Urban Waterways in Bangkok -Living with Water from the point of view of spatial resilience and  urban morphology and how this case study could approach a framework. Since the water level is in a constant fluctuation the city has been adapting certain strategies aiming to transform the waterscape in Bangkok to a more sustainable amphibious living space. Benjamin stated his research by analyzing the jurisdictional and institutional framework and at the same time trying to understand the properties of urban morphology that could be applied to this case: Adoption of space, typology, diversity, capacity, topology, configuration, Complementarity, Flexibility, Variability, Modularity and Connectivity. 

He considers important to shift from planning cities according to “safety conditions” to planning cities according to their “failure systems”, in order to understand where areas of lower resilience are and implement adequate urban/gray infrastructure, and also to provide space to nature to transform the city. 

Space production by migrants in urban villages in China: the case of Beijing
Shiyu Yang

Shiyu Yang approached urban morphology from a different perspective, showcasing a particular situation related to floating population in Beijing. Space production by migrants in urban villages: the case study of Beijing, a comparison study between Shigezhuang Village and Dongxindian Village. This was the last presentation of the session, where some of the main challenges for migrant and floating population were addressed: lack of access to public services, housing, direct economic displacement, among others. As a conclusion for this session, she mentioned that urban interventions should not only go in the direction of providing affordable adequate housing but enabling migrants with a formal job market. She also noted that in order to improve migrants’ resilience, a minimum amount of tenure security should be ensured. 

T3.2: Planning & Critical Infrastructure

During the session, and in-between the presentations of different case-studies around the world, the main themes evoked were innovation for smart cities, theoretical framework principles for ecology, a transformation towards resilient urban governance, open-data gathering, and urban energy transition. 

In this session of Urban Design and management of Infrastructures and Services, the sub-topic specifically focussed on Planning and critical Infrastructures. The goal was to tackle different ways of regarding planning and critical infrastructures by going beyond conventional urban governance. The speakers delivered examples of guidelines addressing design components for urban planning and management to minimize urban vulnerability. The session referred to Urban Resilience by looking at very specific cases of alternative planning and critical infrastructure that differs from conventional urban governance towards a resilient thinking referring to guiding principles from the existing literature. Therefore, the speakers tried to fill the gaps in terms of frameworks and integrated guidelines assessing resilient planning and critical infrastructure strategies. Hence, the topics were heavily backed up by resilience literature although the need of restructuring the existing frameworks was pointed out during the final debate. Indeed, it was mentioned that resilience thinking does not necessarily need to be changed but more transformed as the urban society itself evolves as new technologies appear. 

Tianjin Future Science City: A Chinese Flexible Planning Experience for Industry New Town
Bin Ge, Jiming Yu, Yan Chen

The first speaker, Bin Ge, as representer of the Archiland International Cooperation, presented a conceptual framework for Futur Science City planning. Giving the example of a Chinese city, Tianjin, the idea is to profit from innovation in order to expand planning towards smart development as opposed to intensive urban expansion development which is a main issue in today’s Chinese cities. Hence, resilience is seen as a way to respond to the uncertain future of development that has been regarded as one main challenge in modern planning. Bin Ge is responding to the Chinese critical urban planning agenda of the last 30 years with a conceptual smart city framework which takes into consideration public transportation systems, infrastructure networks, ecological corridors, open spaces and public services. The design scheme is a modulated grid of 1km by 1km with a strict planning guideline which embraces uncertainty thanks to variable development contents located inside the grid. To conclude, one of the main challenges stated by the author is to look into the integration of this kind of framework inside of the larger scale of planning administration in order to keep a coherence in the resilience assessment for the feasibility of his elastic design planning. 

Emerging practices for mainstreaming resilient critical urban infrastructure governance
Philipp Ulbrich, Jon Coaffee, João Porto de Albuquerque

Speakers Ulbrich and Coaffee from the University of Warwick, tackled various resilience framework literature in order to present a reframing proposition that deal with resilient urban governance. According to them, the concept of resilience is often oversimplified when it is in fact an inherently complex process. The supposedly flexible and adaptable model is not a predicted science and therefore, scholars and practitioners have to move towards mixed methods. Their analyses focus on complementarity frames of the SDG11 and CRI monitoring at local and urban scale. The goal is to link urban governance to a reframed Resilience Multiple that influence the spatial intersecting between horizontal, vertical and spatial scheme in order to reduce inequalities. Both speakers want to point out the benefits of local context and knowledge and how the participation of new stakeholders brings more resilient solutions. The aim is to emphasize on the process of resilience rather than on the final product. In their opinion, a new framework would take more time and resources than the existing one but it is necessary for better outcomes. Finally, their proposal is a framework that analyses the adaptative transformations of governance processes through changes in network, in discourses and in evaluation practices. 

A theoretical framework for building the risk-resilience of basic infrastructures and services using Open Data
Mahsa Moghadas, Alexander Fekete, Asad Asadzadeh, Theo Kötter

Mahsa Moghadas, is a PHD student from Iran who is focussing on a case study dealing with Disaster Risk Reduction in Tehran, Iran. She is more precisely interested in adapting critical infrastructures and services facing threats from climate change and natural hazards. Her studies brought her to improve preparedness through the use of Open Data as a ressource for planning. The speaker is stating the weak preparedness of Tehran, existing data from the government with a lack of accessibility, poor DRR management, bad critical infrastructure and basic services and WASH responses. Moghadas is persuaded that a resilient system would benefit from the Sendai Framework focused on Data Readiness Review. Moghadas is stating the need of linking local policies with critical infrastructures with a resilient framework that not only prevent from disaster risk but also brings social inclusion and avoid social trust gaps. She presents a proactive model that values critical infrastructures as being essentials to DRR. During her study, she analyzed the different levels of resilience between various urban district of the city of Tehran to show its strengths and weaknesses. She separated critical types of infrastructure into the physical infrastructure, the social infrastructure and the institutional infrastructure. 

Rusty dinosaurs or phoenix from the ashes? Investigating the role of urban utility companies for the resilience of socio-technical energy systems in transition.
Susan Mühlemeier, Romano Wyss, Claudia Binder

Susan Mühlemeier has presented urban energy transition as a socio-technical transition for urban energy system resilience. More precisely, she focus on very local solutions in Germany and Switzerland such as Urban Utility Companies which are owned by the city, therefore, they are public firms. Here, energy systems play a crucial role in the critical infrastructures which needs to follow the trend of change, such as the transition to renewable energies. By proposing a new reframing system, Susan state that different stakeholders are bringing new ideas that are directly affecting the system and changing the traditional regime. This critical infrastructure has the particularity of responding to resilience by remaining functional and providing public services by taking into account social and technical innovations and opportunities. Urban Utility Companies needs to be stable and flexible in transition in order to answer the public demand and hence the model focus on two core principles of resilience: diversity and connectivity. The goal is to implement technological diversity locally, bring local knowledge and solutions, connect politics and the energy industry with all citizens and infrastructures thanks to a direct democratic control and a local long-term infrastructure management that supports the societal change.

T3.1: Green Infrastructures, flooding and people

The general idea of this session is to focus on the tension between green micro infrastructure and the gray macro one. This focus shed light on different case studies in order to understand how these different sides perform, and which one can be used to form our own resilient cities.

The common language between these presentations was not just to focus on the green infrastructure per se. It was more about the way of identifying the different levels that shape the policies of implementing this green infrastructure and how to find linkages between them. We can learn from the case studies that a pure top down, gray and macro scale infrastructure, in many cases, creates limitations on resilience and increases variabilities. Learning from history was an important point in this session as well, cities of the past grew resilient not just by having good infrastructures but by adapting themselves through hundreds of years, and we should get the best of this experience by learning from them in order to make our own cities more resilient as Yuan mentioned.

Urban Green Infrastructure: a study of type, opportunity and constraints for greater urban resilience
Simon Kilbane, Daniele La Rosa

The presentation focuses on the role of green infrastructure in the resilience of our cities. Rome and Sydney were used as case studies as they both have diverse geographical origins and planning history, and the presenter used imperial data in order to identify the effectiveness of the green infrastructure and ecosystem services existing in these cities. He proposed that the analysis of the spaces in these cities helps to understand the role of ecosystem services for a better urban resilience, especially during climate change.  The planning policies and strategies were also put into consideration, by comparing the capabilities of these green spaces between both cities and also by focusing on the three main resilience dimensions. The social resilience, climate resilience and eco resilience, the presenter mentioned that Sydney had richer top down green services. However, multiple grassroots movements are spreading in Rome to create eco resilient infrastructure. A big challenge that the presenter mentions was the lack of linkages between the different layers that shape the policies of implementing the green infrastructure. “We need to find dialog to connect between these linkages” he emphasizes, and that is to achieve better functioning ecosystem services.

It Takes A Micro-Village: A new understanding of the relationship between Socio-spatial Infrastructure and Equitable Resilience
Jess Pauly

Pauly talks about the reflection of people’s’ social values and priorities on the land that they live in and to understand the needs of people as ecosystems not as hierarchy. She mentions how capitalism in the United States created a top down spatial green infrastructure as part of changing the politic and economy. This created limitations on resilience and paralyzed bottom-up land use movements, which increased variability. She mansions that even though multiple movements of micro villages and transitional farms are implemented by some locals, they are not accessible by the public. As a result, the main theme in the presentation is to comprehend how the spatial environment affects our access to needs. Furthermore, in the presentation, Pauly mentions that we should understand the different layers in this spatial system by understanding the socio spatial linguistics like the Micro-Villages, Macro-Villages, and Multi-Villages. The question is how to have an infrastructure that provides this equitable access of ecosystem of human rights having a big challenge to face which is the inequitable infrastructure in the United States. the presentation ends with the emphasis on the definition of Micro village as a micro system not as part of a house.

Making Sponge City by Deciphering Indigenous Ecological Wisdom: case study of Chengdu, China
Lin Yuan

This presentation focuses on how to absorb the flood water and reuse it in china. Yuan is trying to understand this way by making a historical study on the flood system in the city of Chengdu. This study showed a special way of dealing with floods which is by separating the waterway into multiple smaller ones in order to have better control over flood water. This way of dealing with water shaped the house units in the city for centuries to come. It caused more dispersed units that were built along these smaller water lines. Another way that Yuan mentioned was the location of the houses in the city. Houses were built on elevated places that these small water lines cannot reach, and this gives more protection from water. He presents a question of how they can use these ways in the flood systems in today’s Chinese cities as china is facing more and more flood problems these days. He mentions that the government started to embrace the concept of Sponge City to deal with floodwater problems. This concept became more and more famous in china, and to improve this idea surveys have been made to analyze the main flood water problems in 30 Chinese cities.

A Tale of Two Rivers and Resilience in Tel-Aviv’s Metropolitan Region
Oren Shlomo, Nathan Marom

An analytical study on the two rivers of Tel-Aviv metropolitan area (the Yarkon and Ayalon) is held to understand how urban resilience planning is playing role in this city. Oren explains the flow and the route of the two rivers. He says “Resilience is to anticipate the flood’s timing” so further studies should be done to understand this along with adequate infrastructure. The mentions that unlike the Yarkon River which flows from the north-east through a relatively high-income area, the Ayalon flows from the south-east through a much lower-income area and the heart of the city where transportation is most dense. As a result, the resilience of the Ayalon river is considered as a gray infrastructure-based approach that includes complex strategies to deal with transportation and flood at the same time.  Oren investigates the inequality between the two rivers’ strategies as the Yarkon is diverted into a different flow but the Ayalon did not get the most adequate solution where needed. He analyzes the unequal resilience plans for both rivers by looking at historical data about the plans held for these rivers and to compare between the green approach done for Yarkon with the gray one for Ayalon.

The Design Politics of Flood Infrastructure in the Age of Resilient Urbanism
Zachary Lamb

This research aims to comprehend the variety of tools used for addressing climate change problems by answering the question of who benefits and who designs? The cities New Orleans and Dhaka are chosen as case studies because they have a flood-prone history. These two cities were compared by reviewing archives and making interviews to understand the differences between the two cities in dealing with floods. Lamp says that the two cities have almost the same flooding system which is to simply get rid of the water using gray infrastructure, and he describes this as unwise and unjust arguing that the best way to deal with this is to design with nature and putting in mind three design contributions, process, product, and communication. He mentions that dealing with floods as urgencies is the mainstream that many cities follow whereas dealing with it as (well mitigation) is a more practical way. He also mentions that the concept of everybody wins should change as it diverts people from the main priorities into unsuccessful projects.