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Research activity at Architecture explores a wide variety of significant research areas within architecture and the built environment. Among these is the better exploitation of innovative construction technologies and ICT to optimise 'total building performance', as well as reduce waste and environmental impact. Sustainable architectural and urban design is an important component of this. To this end, the Cluster for Research in Design and Sustainability (CRiDS) focuses its research energies towards developing resilient responses to the social, environmental and economic challenges associated with urbanism and cities, in both the developed and developing world.

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Design for change : five proxies for resilience in the urban form

Feliciotti, Alessandra and Romice, Ombretta and Porta, Sergio (2016) Design for change : five proxies for resilience in the urban form. Open House International, 41 (4). pp. 23-30. ISSN 0168-2601

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The sheer complexity and unpredictability characterizing cities challenges the adequacy of existing disciplinary knowledge and tools in urban design and highlights the necessity to incorporate explicitly the element of change and the dimension of time in the understanding of, and intervention on, the form of cities. To this regard the concept of resilience is a powerful lens through which to understand and engage with a changing world. However today resilience is addressed by urban designers only superficially, and an explicit effort to relate elements of urban form to resilience principles is still lacking, representing a great limit for urban designers, as form is their elective medium of intervention in the urban system. As first steps to overcome this gap, we explore in this work the combination of established knowledge in urban morphology and urban design, with knowledge developed in resilience theory and we look at the configuration of, and interdependencies between, different urban elements from the perspective of five proxies of urban form resilience, namely diversity, redundancy, modularity, connectivity and efficiency. After defining each proxy in resilience theory and in relation to urban form, we address them at five different scales which are relevant to urban morphology and urban design: plot, street edge, block, street and sanctuary area / district.