This past week I had the pleasure of leading two World Café workshops at the Ontario Association of Architects Annual Conference . The purpose of the workshops was to explore how we as architects might develop creative, practical, and implementable urban planning and building design strategies that will build capacity for greater resilience in our cities, communities and neighbourhoods in order to meet the challenges of future shocks and stresses associated with Climate Change, Energy Scarcity, and Population Change.
The participants in both workshops (Thursday and Friday’s workshops) did a great job at exploring and developing ideas on how to develop resilience at for both cities and buildings. They also explored how to build leadership capacity for assisting their communities and cities in implementing planning and design strategies for increasing the capacity for resilience. (See box below with the three World Café questions explored).
World Café Questions
|Question 1: Which urban design and planning strategies would be most effective for increasing the capacities of our cities to be more resilient to the future shocks and stresses associated with climate change, energy scarcity, and population growth?
Question 2: Which urban design and planning strategies would be most effective for increasing the capacities of our cities to be more resilient to the future shocks and stresses associated with climate change, energy scarcity, and population growth?
Question 3: As architectural and urban thought leaders in your communities, how might you assist your community and your city in implementing planning and design strategies for increasing the capacity for resilience to future shocks and stresses?
A number of quite insightful ideaa and strategies were developed, which I collected from the Café gallery where they had been posted at the end of the workshops. I understand that the OAA will be posting these, and I will be posting them on ResilientCity.org as well.
A number of the key strategies that I typically write and speak about emerged, such as increasing density of cities, encouraging mixed use to increase the opportunity for people to live close to where they work and encourage walking, and increasing transit capacity and transit oriented development. However, one insight emerged that I thought was quite insightful. Phil Goldsmith, a well respected expert in renewing and preserving historical buildings, remarked that all we need do to plan and design the cities and buildings is look to how they were planned an designed in the late 19th century – when oil and the automobile did not dominate the design of our cities and suburbs.
The other interesting theme in the discussion of Leadership was the concern about how to get a younger generation of architects and planners interested. One of the participants commented that once things get “scary” the younger generation will begin to pay attention, and they won’t be very happy with what the mess that the preceding had left them!
I will highlight a number of these strategies in a future blogs. Stay tuned.
Thanks again to all those who participated!