Resilience assessment tool for public space regeneration

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The reacting capacity of a territorial system to multiple stresses can be described as its “resilience”. It expresses the ability of a system to absorb, recover from and successfully adapt to stressing circumstances. To make cities more resilient to natural disaster risks, international initiatives, such as the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030), recommend the application of risk management measures and procedures, and stress the importance of preserving and safeguarding cultural heritage as a key element of safe, inclusive, sustainable and resilient cities. Urban planning and regeneration can be opportunity to design safe and resilient public spaces according to risk management, enhancing the overall city resilience to natural disaster risks. In this work, we develop a methodology to assess resilience to natural disaster risk in cities and public spaces, allowing the integration of risk management into ordinary planning tools. We identify which are the drivers that make cities and public spaces resilient to natural disaster risks, adopting a systemic approach that interprets cities as complex, dynamic, self-organizing systems, continuously changing under the pressure of perturbing factors caused by internal processes or external factors. A set of drivers (4), driver descriptors (15) and sub-drivers (36) were identified. A single sub-driver was associated to one or more phases of disaster risk management and to one or more goals of resilience. The method allows to overcome the sectorial approaches of territorial management through an integrated decision support tool for resilience-oriented planning. Particular attention was posed to the role of cultural heritage because it enhances the sense of belonging to the place and thus can enhance the response of citizens to adverse natural events. The territory of the Ischia Island, in Southern Italy, was identified as a suitable case study for future testing of the methodology. In Ischia, the presence of natural and cultural heritage coupled with the exposure to many natural hazards (seismic, volcanic, landslide, coastal erosion and marine inundation), and the intensive urbanization, could favor the validation of the methodology here proposed.
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity, Lisbon, 11-14th July, 2017
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