Concept of Resilient Cities

Concept of Resilient Cities

An umbrella term for the planning and design strategies needed in order to help our cities develop the necessary capacity to meet the challenges of the future both Climate Change and Energy Scarcity

Hence a Resilient City is one that has developed capacities to help absorb future shocks and stresses to its social, economic, and technical systems and infrastructures so as to still be able to maintain essentially the same functions, structures, systems, and identity.

Salient features:

• Resilient Cities and neighbourhoods will need to embrace density, diversity and mix of uses, users, building types, and public spaces. Creating resiliency and reducing the carbon footprint of urban development requires us to maximize the active use of space and land. A single use low density residential neighbourhood or suburban business parks, are typically underutilized during long periods of time. A vibrant and sufficiently densely populated urban environment, by contrast, is well used round-the-clock, all days of the week, and during all seasons. This results from a closely knit mix of uses (e.g. offices, residences, coffee shops etc.), with sufficient density, and which are accessible to a diversity of users (e.g. children, youth, seniors, high-income, low-income,etc.). Dense mixed use neighbourhoods also allow for the effective functioning of all types of business, social and cultural activities with very low inputs of energy for transportation and logistics, thus increasing the resilience of these neighbourhoods.

• Resilient cities and neighbourhoods will prioritize walking as the preferred mode of travel, and as a defining component of a healthy quality of life.

• Resilient cities and neighbourhoods will develop in a way that is transit supportive. After walking and cycling, transit is the most sustainable mode of transportation. Resilient cities will need to re-orient their way of thinking, by shifting from car oriented urban patterns (e.g. cul-de-sacs and expressways) to transit oriented urban patterns and developments (e.g. mobility hubs, intensified corridors, and TODs).

• Resilient cities and neighbourhoods will focus energy and resources on conserving, enhancing, and creating strong, vibrant places, which are a significant component of the neighbourhood’s structure and of the community’s identity.

• Resilient communities, will reduce their carbon footprint by ensuring people opt to walk or cycle, instead of using a car. To achieve this, destinations must be accessible within a pleasant walking distance – people should be able and willing to walk from home to work, to school, to shop, to recreate, and to engage the activities of their everyday life. Longer distances should be achievable through transit.

• Resilient cities and neighbourhoods will conserve and enhance the health of natural systems (including climate) and areas of environmental significance, and manage the impacts of climate change.

• Resilient Cities and neighbourhoods will enhance the effectiveness, efficiency and safety of their technical and industrial systems and processes, including their manufacturing, transportation, communications and construction infrastructure and systems to increase their energy efficiency, and reduce their environmental footprint.

• The development of resilient cities and neighbourhoods will require the active participation of community members, at all scales.

• Resilient Cities and neighbourhoods will plan and design for redundancy and durability of their life safety and critical infrastructure systems. Planning and design of these systems will aim for levels of redundancy and durability that are commensurate with the increasing environmental, social, and economic stresses associated with the impacts of climate change and peak oil.