DOI: 10.5593/sgem2017H/63/S27.103


A. Porebska, P. Rizzi
Thursday 23 November 2017 by Libadmin2017

References: 17th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference SGEM 2017, www.sgemviennagreen.org, SGEM2017 Vienna GREEN Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7408-29-4 / ISSN 1314-2704, 27 - 29 November, 2017, Vol. 17, Issue 63, 827-834 pp; DOI: 10.5593/sgem2017H/63/S27.103


There is a growing need for enhancing resilience of urban systems in the face of unprecedented urbanization and climate change for they both will likely worsen the already unstable and vulnerable nature of contemporary cities: once barely a risk, environmental factors have now the potential to become disasters.
Urban resilience means that components of the urban system – be they natural, built or third environment, human capital, socio-economic activities, etc. – are able to withstand negative impacts without losing their basic functionalities and physical structures. As considered here, it is a dynamic process that shifts urban systems from vulnerable to resilient bearing in mind that to diminish vulnerability does not yet mean to increase resilience.
Based on the experience acquired over the years of working on the subject of vulnerability and natural risk mitigation, this essay is a reflection on the five Ws of urban resilience: questions on who, what, when, where and why should be subjected to resilience-oriented actions. It seeks for some answers to the final question of how as it discusses the role of resilient communities in enhancing urban resilience.
If, for the sake of a metaphor, we consider contemporary cities sick, can they be healed? Within the limits of healing an urban system with a punctual treatment, the article reveals the advantages of such a treatment if done applying bottom-up design strategies and taking into consideration the system as a whole, a symbiosis between man and matter. However, if resilience is a capacity of recovery, the resilience of people and communities should precede the one of matter, as case studies of areas that suffered from natural disasters, areas preparing for one and those which are decreasing their resilience and increasing their vulnerability themselves presented in the paper reveal.

Keywords: urban vulnerability, urban resilience, resilient community, bottom-up design strategies, dual spaces, bottom-up design strategies.