Please login first

List of accepted submissions

Show results per page
Find papers
  • Open access
  • 138 Reads
Integration and instability: the resilience of urban refugees in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Recent global trends have seen a steady increase in both the levels of urbanisation and forced displacement worldwide. This nexus of challenges is evident in the Great Lakes region of sub-Saharan Africa, where protracted conflicts have produced large populations of refugees, in tandem with the rapid growth of cities such as Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. For an urban municipality, the presence of a burgeoning urban refugee population in Dar es Salaam presents a number of difficulties. As a city with 5.6% annual growth, Tanzania’s primary city is already struggling to contend with migration from rural areas, poor infrastructure, the effects of climate change and widespread informality. To successfully integrate refugees into a host community with whom they will have to complete with for employment and access to basic services requires the municipality to support the refugees’ own resilience strategies, and facilitate wider community resilience through urban institutions. This paper will examine what types of resilience strategies have emerged, both at an individual and institutional level in Dar es Salaam, as a consequence of the urbanisation-displacement nexus. Using Ager and Strang’s integration framework, the limitations and opportunities inherent to creating a more inclusive space in the city will be considered.

  • Open access
  • 104 Reads
Disturbances – Early detection as a prerequisite for resilience

Every city represents a storehouse of memories. At the same time today’s cities are dynamic systems characterized by constant change. Technical and architectural structures of different scales that are approaching the end of their utilization cycles must be identified and reviewed. My paper will propose to extend the term resilience as the early detection of spatial or functional disturbances within the cities infrastructure followed by a strategy for maintaining the state or use of the building or structure. Using the example of our architectural practice for a conversion of a former thermal power station in Munich, I will present how a revision of the conventional assessment strategy resulted in a transformation of an obsolete piece of technical infrastructure again into a dynamic architectural and social system. Since then we have been searching for methods to identify similar potential in obsolete pieces of infrastructure and to react on disruptions in the urban environment. In the end architects – using their expertise – could turn into early detectors to identify these disruptions and by that give new meaning to the whole profession that has reached a turning point in constantly creating the “new” - while often wasting resources, materials and labour force. Instead of reacting on questions of fashion, style and floor area, architects may convince their clients to reshape the cities of tomorrow by puncturing the urban environment where its needed. That is the new “new”: parallel to the usual planning from scratch on whiteboards we must take into account the potential of the cities obsolete infrastructure and transform it into useful architecture to avoid areas of decay. For this is how resilience becomes possible: As the ability of a system to react to disruptions, to use them to renew itself, without changing its core.

  • Open access
  • 275 Reads
Water sensitive urban design: Addressing flooding resilience in Ho Chi Minh City

Events related to water systems such as flooding are often evident consequences of inadequate land use and changes in climate that are altering the natural water cycle and are already compromising human health and amenity for urban dwellers. Hereby, transitions to more sustainable ways of water management have been recognized as urgent shifts to achieve necessary resilience in cities. Current discussions point out that approaches that integrate water management into urban development and urban design such as Water sensitive urban design (WSUD) are powerful strategies to support the sustainability of cities. They have the potential to ensure water resilience and also to improve quality of life in urban areas. Due to insufficient planning practices and policies to protect permeable areas and natural resources, Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam (HCMC) becomes one of the ten top cities worldwide with higher risks for population and infrastructure over flooding events (World bank, 2010). Great part of the city suffers frequent flooding events and severe disruption on built infrastructure and people’s wellbeing (Storch 2002). It shows the urgency in developing integrated planning strategies and policies that that are robust enough to protect the city against flooding risks and improve quality of life in urban areas. The central question that this research aims to investigate is in how far more integrative approaches in water management have the potential to address uncertainty regarding flood risks in HCMC while at the same time, improve quality of life in the urban area. This study is applied to a housing settlement in HCMC and evaluates morphological data by qualitative methods combined with quantitative assessments of flood extends. The expected outcome is to orient the city to adopt more integrative planning practices and policy recommendation for land use control based on water sensitive urban design (WSUD) indicators.

  • Open access
  • 169 Reads
A framework for conceptualizing the resilience of urban green spaces in transition—The case of Frankfurt Rhine-Main

This study emphasizes the significance of urban green spaces in urban planning and suggests a foundational framework for conceptualizing their social-ecological resilience through the studied case, the Frankfurt Rhine-Main region. Considering the increased frequency and severity of main urban hazards—namely flood, drought, and heat wave—the role of urban green spaces in adapting the outcomes of a changing climate becomes increasingly important. At the same time, considering the need to densify the urban settings due to increasing housing demand, densification of inner-city areas is often employed as a strategy against urban sprawl. This competition for spatial reserves brings about an urban land-use conflict in many growing metropolitan regions in the world. The Frankfurt Rhine-Main region, with its peaking rates of housing demand and increased intensity of climate-related urban hazards, is no exception to this trend. Although urban resilience can be a very useful concept in understanding global urban phenomena, due to its eclectic nature, scientific works produced in this field usually face the risk of either oversimplification or over-complication. This paper observes urban green spaces as urban social-ecological systems and from the standpoint of social-ecological resilience, it brings together the concepts of (i) land-use conflict regarding the use of spatial reserves either for climate adaptation or urban growth and (ii) supportive or restrictive nature of the urban governance. The suggested conceptual framework lays a context-specific foundation to eventually enable a comprehensive analysis of the current situation (base case) and to inform future interventions (alternative cases).

  • Open access
  • 259 Reads
Building Urban Resilience of Public Places in Volos (Greece). Perspectives and possibilities of related contribution of digital tools.

The proposed article explores the contribution of public places for building urban resilience in Volos (Greece) and investigates the role of digital tools to overcome challenges of urban resilience. This article provides reviews of different approaches to urban resilience and its integration with sustainability targets, where urban resilience is described as a sustainable process, providing capacities for positive change and ability to move forward and improve in response to stresses. The article argues that public places can be considered as useful tools for risk mitigation, emergency response, recovery and adaptation if they have social, economic and environmental capacities. Strengthening social capacity of public spaces and building place capital through inclusive practices contribute to their resilience to face natural disasters and social risks. During an emergency time, public spaces are mainly used as places for shelter, gathering and distribution of services, goods and information. In cases of social crises public spaces shape the relationship between local community and affected social groups.

This article investigates risk mitigation and emergency response practices in urban environment in Volos, identifies physical and social resilience credentials of its public places, and analyses the related institutional framework for disaster prevention and management. It argues that there are deficiencies in disaster management in Volos, and low capacity to adapt to different anticipated and unexpected risks. Consequently, it proposes strategies to increase the adaptive capacity of public spaces in Volos and argues that digital inclusion can reinforce their resilience and facilitate coordination, management, implementation and disseminating of existing risk mitigation and emergency framework (Xenokratis Plan). Within this framework, the study investigates the potential of Blockchain technologies to provide the resilient alternative to the standard IT systems, facilitate a decentralized and more reliable infrastructure of the city and autonomous interactions for public participation, decentralized governance, controlled by local communities.

  • Open access
  • 173 Reads

Here I present a participatory system approach based on cognitive mapping that can be used to identify and relatively quantify climate adaptation tradeoffs. Fuzzy cognitive mapping (FCM) allows the integration of different participant views in the form of semi-quantitative cause-effect maps, each expressing particular knowledge or experience of a similar or distinctive part of a system. This particular nature of FCM allows to co-produce knowledge around a phenomenon and can be also used in the context of climate adaptation planning. To show its potential to identify and assess climate adaptation tradeoffs, I use a case study that explores heatwave impacts and adaptation options in the city of Madrid (Spain). Based on 22 individual maps elicited from agents with different backgrounds (urban planning, energy efficiency, water, green infrastructures, health, climate change…), an integrated multisectorial representation of urban heatwaves phenomena in Madrid has been obtained. In FCM, each participant interprets phenomena and connects cause and effects in very diverse manners. This information, far from being contradictory, explains the complexity of the system and provides complementary knowledge to assess impacts of different policy options. Alongside its potential as a knowledge co-production method and as a communication and learning tool, FCM allows analysis of what-if scenarios and assessment of cascading effects that would be difficult to identify otherwise. This application enables the identification and assessment of tradeoffs of policy options (so-called what-if scenarios). In the case study presented, 4 heatwave adaptation policy options are simulated: use of air conditioning, use of recycled water, deployment of green infrastructures and heat warning systems. Tradeoffs of each policy option are identified, quantified and compared. I discuss the benefits of this approach and the limitations of using this information for decision-making.

  • Open access
  • 216 Reads
Social cohesion in multi-ethnic urban neighbourhood - Strengthening community resilience through urban planning

Sociological research into the ability of communities to withstand disasters has coined the term of “community resilience” as a mechanism of social systems for dealing with unexpected external disturbances. The concept of community resilience locates adaptive and coping potentials in both individual and collective capacities of members of society, which are developed and proven in everyday social life. However, in multi-ethnic societies trustful relationships among neighbours and an active participation in social life are frequently put into question: The more diverse a society or a community, the lower the willingness of its members to develop close ties with their fellow community members and to intervene on behalf of a common good. Urban planning thus faces the challenge of developing convivial neighbourhoods that promote social cohesion and a sense of community in an increasingly heterogeneous context that enables diverse communities to pursue collective-action efforts and to provide for collective goods. In answering the question of what mechanisms are needed for enhancing community resilience, we understand urban planning in a broader context in which spatially based approaches are embedded in the cooperative work of community development and neighbourhood organisations. Against this background, we will introduce findings from the German research project ResOrt (Resilience through social cohesion – The role of organisations). Rooted in Robert Sampson’s “collective efficacy”-approach and adapted from an extensive review of policy papers and practical guidelines the presentation will be based on guided interviews with experts from a broad variety of organisations in the fields of district development and community work. The focus of the presentation will be a practice-oriented model comprising different dimensions and interdependences of social cohesion and community resilience, proposing future directions for integrating community resilience building efforts into an extended structure of urban planning and district development processes.

  • Open access
  • 279 Reads
Design for walkable neighbourhoods in Singapore using Form-based Codes

Walkability is often regarded as a key resilience and liveability indicator for urban neighbourhoods and the city (Robertson and Hachem-Vermette 2017). Singapore often tops the rankings as the most liveable city in Asia, especially due to its easy access to public amenities (The Strait Times 2018). However, active mobility, including walking and cycling, only account for a minority of all ridership in the city (CLC and ULI 2017). This raises two key questions: 1) what factors hinder walkability in Singapore and 2) how can the built environment be improved to promote active mobility.

This study argues that the lack of detailed urban design guidelines impedes the creation of pedestrian-friendly environments, especially for public housing neighbourhoods that form the main urban landscape of Singapore. It then explores the possibility of using Form-based Codes (FBC) to improve walkability for the public housing neighbourhoods. Such codes have been repeatedly proved in the Western cities as an effective design guideline to regulate the built environment and create walkable neighbourhoods (Hansen 2014). However, they have never been applied in the Asian context.

Methodologically, this research first diagnosed main problems pertaining to poor walkability of public housing neighbourhoods based on a comprehensive review of existing studies and site survey. The problems then provide a lens to assess the literature and the best practices of FBC, identifying the strengths and limitations of applying such codes to Singapore’s public housing neighbourhoods. On this basis, a framework and key principles for developing new FBC were derived, and new design guidelines were tested using two case studies.

This study for the first time explored applying FBC to high-density tropical cities in Asia. The research findings indicate that the FBC principles and methods for improving neighbourhood walkability are potentially useful for enhancing liveability and resilience of other similar urban environments.

  • Open access
  • 50 Reads
Planning in Central America in the 21st. century: possibilities and limitations for resilience implementation

This work examines the evolution of the planning field in five Central American countries [1] in the last 15 years in order to discuss different approaches to promote urban resilience and its implications for planning governance at the multinational, national, and metropolitan levels. Study focuses on how these countries have incorporated comprehensive risk management and climate change adaptability as major planning policy goals in the context of a vulnerable region with diverse institutional frameworks. For this, research examines a series of regional, national, and metropolitan planning instruments and corresponding organizations to focus attention on their coherence with sustainability principles and detect the emergence of innovative planning practices.

The study of Central American planning cases permits to identify four tensions which are relevant for the discussion of the linkages between resilience implementation, planning, and governance. First, despite official discourses based on global climate change agreements and carbon neutrality goals, numerous contradictions persist with ongoing strategic economic ventures and large infrastructure projects as coordination between environmental and economic ministries is still incomplete. Second, new issues incorporated into national and metropolitan development plans, such as: gender equality, human rights, and civil society participation pose diverse implementation challenges for traditional planning organizations and professionals. Third, the achievement of social, environmental, and economic development objectives is limited by conservative legal frameworks as legal disputes around private property and plan implementation continue. Finally, numerous stakeholders such as multilateral organizations, local governments, private investors, and grassroots organizations have not been fully involved into planning processes preventing multiple interests to be considered in the decision making process. As a result, effective planning governance and lack of flexible institutional arrangements appear to be the main limitations for effective resilience implementation in Central America.

[1] Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala

  • Open access
  • 111 Reads
Community Participation in Slum Rehabilitation in Mumbai, India

The Mumbai Development Plan 2034 raises several questions about citizens’ rights to the city and their involvement in the decision-making process.

Housing shortage in Mumbai, the capital of the state of Maharashtra, India is a well-documented and much researched topic. More than half the city’s population including the poor as well as the lower middle classes are forced to find shelter in slums. Successive governments have tried various policies to address this issue with limited success.

The current policy, dating from 1995 and in keeping with the neoliberal policy environment, gives an important role to the free market in slum rehabilitation schemes. Paradoxically, while this policy requires increased support from civil society and NGOs to work and while the corresponding legislation calls for ‘obligatory participation’ of the slum-dwellers, it has come under criticism for being more oriented towards the demands of the market. Not only has the number of people benefiting from the policy been low, but also the quality and nature of the housing provided have resulted in recidivism where beneficiaries are either forced to the outskirts of the city or back into slums.

It thus becomes necessary to examine the role that communities play in this paradigm. The paper will look into various cases of slum rehabilitation in the city of Mumbai and investigate the actual level for community participation and the impact it has had. The paper will also look into relevant legislation and the provisions therein which allow for community participation to take place.

Finally, the paper will suggest ways to incorporate the learnings from the study into slum policies so that communities can be empowered to participate in the process of rehabilitation. The findings can further inform research into bringing about an authentic, non-token participatory urban planning process.