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DESIGN FOR CHANGE: FIVE PROXIES FOR RESILIENCE IN THE URBAN FORM

Abstract
By : Alessandra Feliciotti, Ombretta Romice, Sergio Porta

 
The sheer complexity and unpredictability characterising cities challenges the adequacy of existing disciplinary knowledge and tools in urban design and highlights the necessity to incorporate explicitly the element of change and the dimension of time in the understanding of, and intervention on, the form of cities. To this regard the concept of resilience is a powerful lens through which to understand and engage with a changing world. However, resilience is currently only superficially addressed by urban designers, and an explicit effort to relate elements of urban form to resilience principles is still lacking. This represents a great limit for urban designers, as the physical dimension of cities is the matter they work with in the first place. In this paper, we combine established knowledge in urban morphology and resilience theory. We firstly look at resilience theory and consistently define five proxies of resilience in urban form, namely diversity, redundancy, modularity, connectivity and efficiency. Secondly, we discuss the configuration of, and interdependencies between, several constituent elements of the physical city, as defined in urban morphology and design, in light of the mentioned five proxies. Finally, we conduct this exploration at five scales that are relevant to urban morphology and design: plot, street edge, block, street and sanctuary area / district.
Keywords: Urban Design, Resilience, Proxies, Urban morphology, Urban Form.

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