Architects on Front Lines of Urban Resilience

100 Resilient Cities aims to bring the world's cities together by emphasizing the need for collaboration, communication, and strategizing around their shared physical, social, and economic concerns.

by Citiscope / September 7, 2016
Pat Bonish moves debris off the sidewalk in downtown Cedar Key, Fla. after Hurricane Hermine passed through Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. Hermine was downgraded to a tropical storm after it made landfall. (AP Photo/John Raoux) AP

Architects are on the front lines of the battle to defend America’s cities from natural disasters and the effects of climate change. Steve Cimino writes for the American Institute of Architects (AIA) about efforts by Boston, Miami and San Francisco to protect vulnerable populations. All three cities are participant’s in the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities program.

In Boston, local architects engage residents on ways to cope with sea-level rise and extreme temperatures, the article says. Their efforts to strengthen resilience don’t stop there. The Boston Society of Architects is helping the low- and middle-income neighborhood of East Boston introduce nourishing options to food deserts and better integrate with the rest of the city.

In Miami, there’s an immediacy to resilience efforts because the coastal city is flood prone and saltwater already is seeping into underground aquifers, the article says. Architects are sounding the alarm about the need for designs that protect against sea-level rise. Meanwhile, in San Francisco, where earthquakes are among the threats, efforts are underway to educate the public about resilience. An event this month, Architecture and the City Festival, will showcase ideas for addressing inequality and aging infrastructure.

(Disclaimer: the Rockefeller Foundation is a funder of Citiscope).

Platforms & Programs