This month, academics, students and practitioners from the Middle East and abroad came together to learn about the key tenets of urban resilience, and propose design interventions to address challenges in Amman, Ramallah, and Byblos. In the fourth installment of Resilience by Design University (RBD_U), we took on the topics of of waste, water, and transportation. In partnership with PennDesign100 Resilient Cities, & Columbia University GSAPP, RBD_U took the form of a two-day Symposium and Design Workshop. 

On Day 1, Chief Resilience Officers from the three cities, local professors from Amman, and international architecture professors and practitioners discussed key elements of urban resilience, including topics such as the Aesthetics of Resilience, Combating Exclusion by Design, and the City Resilience Framework. Those topics created the foundation for which students, on Day 2, worked with practitioners to apply learnings to create a design approach that would address a city’s specific challenge.  

Each group was asked to think about holistic design interventions from a resilience approach that incorporate multi-benefits. Students concentrated their findings on challenges that included waste as a spatial issue in Byblos, water scarcity and congestion in Amman, and the scarcity of both water and public space in Ramallah. Student design approaches included:

  • Amman | Gender and anti harassment campaign in public transportation buses, taxes, stops; highlighting the resilience value of a transportation challenge through the lens of gender equality and safety.
  • Amman | Creating a gondola connecting the seven hills of Amman, on each hill build a tall building that could house the gondola, office space and retail; addressings the existing needs for the growing population
  • Ramallah | Adding green infrastructure and water harvesting interventions to design, shape, beautify, and encourage the use of underutilized public space.
  • Byblos | Decentralizatizing the waste collection system to encourage recycling vis a vis communal land waste sheds.

Workshop ReportsAmman: Transportation | Amman: Water | Ramallah: Water | Byblos: Waste

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