Organic growth as a process to reach a resilient and sustainable city

Belibani, Rosalba and Lefosse, Deborah; (2022) Organic growth as a process to reach a resilient and sustainable city. In: Annual Conference Proceedings of the XXVIII International Seminar on Urban Form. University of Strathclyde Publishing, Glasgow, pp. 1588-1595. ISBN 9781914241161

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From the beginning of the year 2000, cities are in continuous development at an unprecedented speed, hosting every year larger populations. In this urban horizon of constant growth, cities play a crucial role in affecting or improving the living quality of human beings and the successful interaction among social, environmental and economic systems. As a living organism, the city acts as a complex system of shapes and functions able to evolve in time to stay alive. The term ‘resilience’ means the ability to resist or survive by changing those features of every organic system including the city. The resilience of urban form represents a method to guide the growth of contemporary cities, also included in the ninth and eleventh Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) respectively. Nowadays, most towns are featured by uncontrolled urbanisation that seems not compatible with the natural city’s inclination towards resilience and sustainability. These terms are often used interchangeably, while they are complementary. If associated with urban form, these terms are still unexplored avenues of research as well as a preliminary investigation. In particular, there is a gap in the field literature matching urban morphology, resilience and SDGs. This paper aims to reply to the following question: how can urban morphology actively enhance the city's adaptability and its sustainable processes of change? Merging the City Resilience Framework from the Rockefeller Foundation in cooperation with Arup and the Global Indicator Framework for the SDGs from the 2030 Agenda, it provides a theoretical and methodological contribution to translate them into urban fabrics and typologies, by hypothesising a set of new requisites enable to comply with resilience science and sustainable development. The research results will foster advancements in spatial morphology to further direct urban policy and practice towards a more organic approach to city evolution.

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