Since the Hurricane Sandy competition, Rebuild by Design, and the processes that were inspired by that work including, the National Disaster Resilience Competition, the Bay Area Resilient by Design Challenge, Water is Leverage, and others, have sparked interest in communities, governments academics, and researchers. To help researchers understand more about our work, and to continue to contribute to a growing portfolio of writings about the work, we have launched this library as a resource for all who are interested. 

We would like to thank the University of Groningen for their partnership in locating and cataloging the articles and books that have examined our work. If you know of a resource that is not listed here, please let us know by sending an email to


Discusses what games and play can reveal about contemporary processes of urbanization and examines how gaming, in models like the Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge, can help us understand the dynamics underlying interurban competition in city development.

Kim, Jeanette

Theory and Society: Provides an explanation for how increased public participation can paradoxically translate into limited democratic decision-making in urban settings. Using an in-depth case study of one of the largest coastal protection projects in the world, the East Side Coastal Resilience (ESCR) Project, and drawing on global scholarship on participation, this article narrates the social production of resistance to climate change infrastructure by showing how the state sidestepped public input and exercised authority through appeals to the rationality of technical expertise.

Araos, M.

Sustainability: Addresses the contemporary debate on urban and environmental regeneration, investigating the need to establish new criteria to implement the defence of coastal ecosystems by climate problems. It looks at coastal vulnerabilities, starting with the environmental fragility of flooding, as an opportunity to regenerate waterfront ecosystems.

Ciampa, F., De Medici, S., Viola, S., & Pinto, M.R.

Explores how communities around the U.S. have built local climate resilience, with a Foreword from Amy Chester, Managing Director of Rebuild.

Chester, A.

Political Geography: Uses Foucaultian work on problematization to explore the urban resilience paradigm which emerged in the wake of 2012’s Hurricane Sandy, which dramatically disrupted New York City. The paper used discourse and media analysis to examine government commissions and proposals, and site observation at panels and conferences. It highlights the inherent political nature in the whole process.

Wakefield, S.

Journal of Landscape Architecture: Focuses on how the concept of ‘resilience districts’ for urban areas vulnerable to coastal flooding can improve resilience of metropolitan areas. The paper details a resilience districting strategy for the Greater Boston Metropolitan Area. It culminates with a generalizable urban planning and design framework for protecting critical infrastructure, ‘thickening’ regional soft systems and transferring density to less vulnerable areas. The overall theme emphasizes landscape as a critical public safety service.

Berger, A.M., Wilson, M., Susskind, J., & Zeckhauser, R.J.

Visual Communication: Presents and demonstrates an analytic framework that enables a systematic visual analysis of landscape design representations. The framework is demonstrated by using two projects from Rebuild by Design, a participatory transdisciplinary design competition organized in the New York City area as examples.

Raaphorst, K., Roeleveld, G., Duchhart, I., van der Knaap, W., & van den Brink, A.

Sustainability: Presents an analytical framework to study institutional capacity building by international resilience programs, focusing on intellectual, social and political capital. The central case is the development and implementation of the Water as Leverage (WaL) program in Semarang, Indonesia.

Laeni, N., van den Brink, M., Busscher, T., Ovink, H., & Arts, J.

Analysis of the translation process of 'polder' as it played out in Water as Leverage for Asian Cities, a Dutch urban design initiative that took place in Semarang. Translation as a processof negotiation between designated parties which involves the exchange or transfer of something (a policy, a plan ordesign, a practice) from one realm (linguistically, culturally, and materially constituted) to another, in this casefrom The Netherlands to Indonesia

S. Richter