This book discusses that disasters, whether natural or man-made, are essentially a human phenomenon. When a city becomes gridlocked and its resources depleted, the collective resilience of those who remain on the ground becomes critical to its immediate survival and recovery. The author argues that in order to build resilient futures for our urban environment, we need more than the skills of architects, engineers, and planners. Support of local communities and policymakers is also needed.
The book revisits the recent catastrophic events: the earthquakes in Port-au-Prince and Christchurch, and the hurricane in New Orleans, and places emphasis on the social, cultural, and political processes of rebuilding houses, facilities, and infrastructure that often go unnoticed. Understanding the wider context for how a built project comes to be, the author argues, is a solid indicator of its longevity than by the measure of its material characteristics alone, and gives us reasons to question the validity of our intentions as designers of the future. This book provides strategies for thinking about, assessing, and developing ways for place-makers from all disciplines to become responsible citizen designers of our cities.
Part I. Understanding Resilience.- 1. Design Agency.- Architecture and Disasters.- Dilemmas of Disaster Urbanism.- Bridging the Gap.- 2. Systems Thinking.- Design as a Method.- Operationalizing Wicked Problems.- 3. Paradoxes of Building Back Better.- Communicating Resilience.- Societal Pathologies.- Design Strategies.- Part II. Resilient Tactics and Strategies.- 4. Haiti: NGO’s Republic.- Setting the Scene: Wicked Problems.- Civic Resilience: the Haitian Way.- Social Equity: Haitian Diaspora.- Design Outlier: Bati Byen.- 5. Katrina: Collective Resistance.- Starchitecture and Community Design.- Politics of Unbuilding.- Design Equity.- Public Interest Design as Activism.- 6. Christchurch: Going Grassroots.- The Polarized City.- Emergent Community Leaders.- A People’s Republic of Christchurch.- Architecture of Tomorrow.- Conclusion.- Index.- List of Interviewees.