Can cities have the foresight to adopt preventive measures before disaster strikes as we shift into a climate unsteady future?
As communities familiarize themselves with urban resilience, it becomes apparent that this concept is not just a trend; it is an opportunity. The increasing number of initiatives from agencies such as 100 Resilient Cities, Resilience Alliance, and the United Nations as well as the growing attention to the term in scholarly, professional and community forums support that urban resilience is relevant because of both its ability to systematically understand interactions, and because of its ability to explore and facilitate opportunities for proactive responses to short and long-term stresses in urban environments.
Alexandru (Alec) Balasescu, Adjunt Professor from Urban Studies at SFU. He is an anthropologist, writer, curator and author of Paris Chic, Tehran Thrills. Aesthetic Bodies, Political Subjects (ZETA Books, 2007). He publishes extensively in international journals covering interdisciplinary and cross-cultural approaches to urbanism, design, material culture and the body. His research has received support from the Center for German and European Studies, UC Berkeley; the Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research; the British Library; the French Institute of Research in Iran; and the Open Society Institute. Research interests: participative urbanism and design, human-machine interaction, smart cities, public performances and interventions, theories of subject formation, urban ecosystems and animal life forms in urban spaces. He is also co-founder of Nature, Art and Habitat Multidisciplinary Lab in Italy.
Nadine Mägdefrau is Research Coordinator at the Institute of Spatial Planning from the Faculty of Spatial Planning at the Technical University of Dortmund. After completing her studies at the Faculty of Spatial Planning, she has developed research interests covering building urban resilience (esp. after disasters); disaster risk reduction in spatial planning; climate change adaptation. Her recently submitted dissertation topic is Building urban resilience through spatial planning following disasters: The Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.
Robin Chang is a Research Associate and PhD Candidate at the Department of European Planning Cultures, Faculty of Spatial Planning, TU Dortmund University. She studied Spatial Planning at the TU Dortmund University and Environmental Planning at the University of Northern British Columbia. Her research interests include comparative planning cultures; environmental planning (particularly resource management and green governance); and Complexity Science in planning. Currently, she is working on her dissertation research which focuses on the Comparative Analysis of Temporary Use Institutionalization & Acculturation in German and Dutch Planning.