The Architecture of Social Resilience

Climate change is creating significant hazards globally. These are usually described in terms of physical phenomenon such as sea level rises, droughts, flooding and erratic weather conditions. However, the way these phenomena are experienced is mediated by social vulnerability (Vincent, 2004).

Social vulnerability describes the complex interrelationship of social, economic, political, technological and institutional factors that influence how an urban community, household or individual experiences climate change (Vincent, 2004).

Reducing social vulnerability and strengthening resilience is, therefore, is an important climate change adaptation strategy. So,

  • How is social resilience promoted?
  • Are there actions and building attributes that can be used improve social resilience?

A review suggests the following building  and urban attributes and actions are valuable way Architects, Urban Designers, Planners and Municipalities can promote sustainable resilience:

  • Access to productive resources
  • Provision for health and education
  • Access to information
  • Shared facilities
  • Institutional and cultural arrangements
  • Local climate resilience plans
  • Disaster management plans

There are developed in Gibberd, J., 2017. Social Resilience in Urban Areas presented at the 11th Built Environment Conference, Durban South Africa, 6 – 8th August 2017 Durban, South Africa