Towards Redundancy in Urban Landscapes: Enhancing Adaptive Capacity Through Design
While many are convinced striving for resilient cities is worth pursuing, the majority of the research in this field focuses on risks and vulnerabilities or on social resilience. The attention for the spatial necessities to create cities that are able to accommodate the impacts of climate change is rare. The core objective of this paper is to learn from resilient urban precedents so design beyond disaster can be practiced. This article focuses therefore on the inclusion of spatial redundancy in urbanism. It uses the example of Western Sydney, where in the future approximately 800,000 new inhabitants will live, to illustrate how certain space can be kept free of developments, in other words remains available for future (changed, unexpected) use. This future use could well be temporary, in the case of climate impacts, such as floods or fires. A total of eight urban neighborhoods have been analyzed as precedents of ecological urbanism and densities. The design principles derived from these precedents are subsequently deconstructed and reconstructed to design the Master Plan and plans at urban design level. Out of this design process, five design principles emerge as determinants of redundancy: use space temporarily so it can be used differently when needed, full integration of the rural and urban landscape (water) systems; developing fluid densities in the city so these can be densified when required in the future; see landscape as an amenity being the space that residents can use when they need; and create accessible communal urban spaces and can be used for shared purposes.
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