Resilient urban form addressing pandemic crisis

Buffa, Alessandra; (2022) Resilient urban form addressing pandemic crisis. In: Annual Conference Proceedings of the XXVIII International Seminar on Urban Form. University of Strathclyde Publishing, Glasgow, pp. 1199-1215. ISBN 9781914241161

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The pandemic experience of COVID-19 motivated this work, which addresses the need to integrate resilience concept with urban morphology in crisis-time. Indeed, the physical form of cities is relevant in developing their capacity to deal with stressing events and changing conditions. Thus, since citizens' lifestyle will be drastically influenced, the novel Coronavirus pandemic and related global challenges addressing cities and their inhabitants appear both an unexpected and interesting occasion to study the practical role of resilience to deal with pandemic conditions also at urban form level, with long-time perspective. This virus has certainly raised the need to re-discuss the paradigm of planning, designing and managing the city under pressure passing through the concepts of resilience, disturbance absorption and system reorganization. Thus, learning from the first lessons of COVID-19 at the urban and neighbourhood level, this paper provides some practical reflections that can be useful, to both academics, policy-makers and professionals, in identifying resilient urban forms capable to confirm urban properties already in place or to highlight new needs and requirements to deal with this disturbance. In this sense, the present crisis is arising a lot of questions around the urban form properties that may have favoured or limited the current and future spread of the infection, with the final purpose to make cities liveable, healthy and safe again. To reach that, the concept of "resilient urban forms" needs to consider both the physical and nonphysical aspects of the urban built-environment. In this regard, the effort to "add some words" to this ground-breaking framework on "Resilient Urban Form in time of Pandemic" might contribute to the development of a new research frontier for merging spatial-principles, urban resilience concepts and public health studies, providing both theoretical inputs for further debate and practical ideas to increase urban longevity.