Academic journal article European Journal of Sustainable Development

Adaptive Reuse as A Strategy toward Urban Resilience

Academic journal article European Journal of Sustainable Development

Adaptive Reuse as A Strategy toward Urban Resilience

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

Cities are still hubs of dwelling, production and creativity. In accordance, migration to cities is increasing every year. Therefore, the capacity of cities for accommodating the needs is being questioned. With hindsight, twentieth century modernization movement in architecture and planning caused serious consequences in the urban environment. Cities were segmented in terms of functions. Industrialization created new jobs and attracted populations to cities. With the increase in population, pollution, security and health issues, garden city movement was promoted and middle and upper class city dwellers spread out to city perimeters. Decentralization led to long term problems. For example, urban sprawl increased, motorized urban fabric emerged, social segregation became apparent, edge cities formed, urban diversity decreased, and agricultural land was wasted. Buildings in city center started becoming obsolete and under maintained. In most cases owners ignored these problems because it was expensive to repair and did not generate a financial return. In response to negative impacts of decentralization, new urbanism concept was introduced around the 1980's. Sustainable city strategies were developed. Today, it is observed that urbanization in the 21st century is still increasing. Prevailing problems are energy, environment and social issues based on excessive population. Also, limited resources and their unwise consumption threaten sustainability of the cities.

In addition, twenty-first century planning and architectural practices have been affected by policies and economic activities that support "neo-liberal debt-oriented economy" (Resilience Thinking in Urban Planning, p.3). In many cases urban renewal movement demonstrates a market oriented, entrepreneurial architecture and planning decisions. In this regard, underuse old building stock is replaced with high density tall dwelling blocks or business centers. In consequence, the city's identity, authenticity and socio-economic diversity are damaged as well as its energy and resources are used carelessly. According to United Nations Habitat by 2050 population in cities will increase up to 60 percent. This will bring up accommodation and planning problems, insufficient infrastructure, and increase in energy consumption. Resilience of cities to sudden shocks and stresses will be in question. From this perspective adaptive reuse could be a strategy toward making cities resilient to future issues.

Twenty-first century's city structure is getting more complex than before. The city has branched out and become multi-nuclei entity. It consists of multiple scale systems and cycles. These systems are in constant change so does the city. Showing resemblance to living organisms, the city needs to be adaptable in the face of changing conditions. How well the city responds to these changes can be studied under the concept of resilience. Originated in ecology, resilience demonstrates stages of change. In the case of city resilience, multiple scale and continuous adaptive resilience theory becomes more suitable than ecological and engineering perspectives (Martin 2012; Dolega and Celinska-Janowicz 2015). City resilience is about how well the city could absorb shocks as well as it could function and reorganize itself when it faces destabilizing shocks and stresses. So that city dwellers survive and flourish regardless of shocks and stresses (Arup City Resilience Framework, p.3). Cities are interrelated and connected to multiple dynamic and static systems on varying levels directly or indirectly. Therefore, this complex system is open to various threats and trends. In order to strengthen city resilience, critical systems and levels should be identified and their strengths and weaknesses should be determined. In this regard, establishing city resilience is gaining importance (Collier, Hambling, Kernaghan et al., 2014, 'Tomorrow's cities: a framework to assess urban resilience', p. …

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