Towards enhanced resilience in city design: A proposition

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Journal Article
Land, 2014, 3 (2), pp. 460 - 481
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© 2014 by the authors. licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. When we use the urban metabolism model for urban development, the input in the model is often valuable landscape, being the resource of the development, and output in the form of urban sprawl, as a result of city transformations. The resilience of these "output" areas is low. The lack of resilience is mainly caused by the inflexibility in these areas where existing buildings, infrastructure, and public space cannot be moved when deemed necessary. In this article, a new vision for the city is proposed in which the locations of these objects are flexible and, as a result, the resilience is higher: a Dismantable City. Currently, the development of this sort of city is constrained by technical, social, and regulatory practice. However, the perspective of a Dismantable City is worthwhile because it is able to deal with sudden, surprising, and unprecedented climate impacts. Through self-organizing processes the city becomes adjustable and its objects mobile. This allows the city to configure itself according to environmental demands. The city is then able to withstand or even anticipate floods, heat waves, droughts, or bushfires. Adjustability can be found in several directions: creating multiple layers for urban activities (multi-layer urbanism), easing the way objects are constructed (light urbanism), or re-using abandoned spaces (transformable urbanism).
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