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Urban Form Resilience: From Theory to Implementation
1  Department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, University of Strathclyde


In 2015, the United Nations set 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Of these, Goal 11 is about making cities “Inclusive, Safe, Resilient and Sustainable” and stresses the importance of adopting and implementing integrated policies in support of urban resilience. This theme was further reinforced by the New Urban Agenda (2017) which calls cities to “build resilience and responsiveness to natural and man-made hazards, and foster mitigation and adaptation to climate change” (United Nations, 2017: 7), also recognizing how “urban form, infrastructure, and building design are among the greatest drivers of cost and resource efficiencies, through the benefits of economy of scale and agglomeration” (ibid. p: 4).

Whilst these documents attest the global recognition of the importance of the design of urban form in pursuing more sustainable development trajectories, the concept of resilience in the vocabulary of urban designers remains little more than a buzzword. Indeed, today, urban resilience remains still largely approached from an ecological-environmental perspective, that fails to integrate consolidated theoretical knowledge, methods and practices typical of the urban design area of research and pays little attention to the morphological structure of cities which, in turn, is highly relevant to urban designers. This is a major impediment for urban designers and resilience scholars to unleash the full potential of SDG 11.

To overcome this limitation, this panel tackles the link between urban form and resilience from different perspectives, addressing the meaning and implications of “urban form resilience”, from theory to implementation. During this panel, theoretical work on the application of the framework of evolutionary resilience to urban form will be presented along with several contributions focusing on the link between urban form resilience, urban design practice and economic value of places, in relation to the guidelines for action set by the New Urban Agenda.

Keywords: Urban Form; Resilience; New Urban Agenda; Sustainable Development Goals; urban design; economic value.