Resilient Urbanism



The Transect Codes are a matrix of land use possibilities based on the continuous spectrum of inundated, wet, and dry conditions. The matrix aims to optimize flood-prone urban environments by addressing existing and adjacent conditions. Interventions occur at three levels of resolution: Topological editing at the macro-scale, Wet urbanism at the meso-scale, and adaptive architectural typologies at the micro-scale. Ultimately, the implementation of these tools aims to directly improve the integration of ecosystem services in urban environments while striving for habitable land. 

The bias embedded within the matrix denies the wet / dry binary to embrace the reality that many urban coastal areas face amidst climate instability. Substantial evolution to urban forms, infrastructure, and individual lifestyles need to change to adapt to new climate conditions and inundation gradients. This concept is investigated using the transect matrix: 

C-Core Typology Development: This region exists on a high ground that experiences little flooding. Whether it is from a high topography or the result of infrastructure aimed at mitigating flood, the core's “mostly” static conditions encourages the transfer of density rights, through up-zoning and the provision of critical services and infrastructures such as hospitals,affordable housing, transit hubs, and food storage.  

H10-Hybrid Typology Development: The Hybrid Typology includes a range of building density. Permanent infrastructural interventions are in place to address occasional flooding, where low to medium density developments are accessible from elevated boardwalks. The standard architectural typology includes mostly horizontal bar buildings and piloti to accommodate for flood events. In areas without flood mitigating infrastructure exists a ten-meter development buffer.While road networks are available, hybrid-nautical means of transportation are commonplace. 

W10-Wetland Development: The Wetland parcel maintains 100% soil moisture content in the developable lands. New forms of infrastructure and urbanism emerge as a result. Dock neighbourhoods are seemingly placed in permanently inundated areas, while road networks fail to address "The Last Mile." The wetland ecosystem is undisturbed in these areas as they offer critical flood mitigation. Without any hard flood infrastructure, a ten-meter flood buffer is mandated. 

A20-Agriculture Development: Large plains of land subject to major seasonal flooding are reserved for agricultural production. A twenty-meter riparian buffer is necessary to mitigate the eutrophic effects of agricultural runoff.  

020-Open Space Provision: These parcels primarily consist of critical infrastructure and services that get distributed throughout the matrix. As a parcel with considerable importance, flood mitigating infrastructures, such as sand dunes, natural and artificial levees  and sea wall, with a minimum of a twenty-meter flood buffer. 

TR-Treatment & Wetland Infrastructure: Treatment regions are always the terminal location in the matrix. Typically the mouth of a river, a delta, or an estuary, these areas are expanses that allow water to disperse over a large area.  These parcels contain an undisturbed wetland to filter contaminants and increase flood protection.

Exploring Generative Design for Coastal Resilience: Generative Design is a process that allows designers and engineers to explore, evaluate, and optimize design options based on their specific goals. By explicitly defining their goals and constraints, they can tap into the software’s algorithms to generate solutions that meet each of their criteria, freeing them from creating tedious manual iterations while also exploring a vast solution space that would not otherwise be possible. 

Generative Design AutoDesk Residency
In the summer of 2019 – the CLR joined another five teams from three continents at AutoDesk’s Toronto Technology Center for an intensive 2-week Generative Design Residency. The team worked with ARUP, Parsons and Hone Structures as well as MIT. Together, the cohort explored new ways to use generative design—like improving building performance and human experience, enhancing structural analysis for digital fabrication, and optimizing urban design and energy performance as it relates to climate resilience and adaptation. Using the parameters and the design evaluation metrics, a software suite like Autodesk's Dynamo and Refinery assists by methodically iterating through the defined parameters in an attempt to uncover design variations that perform the best (increase land value and decrease flood risk in our case).  The results of the residency directly fed into ways of optimizing land forming, cut and fill operations, land use, and built form for a section of Broward County that is at risk.  

Fadi Masoud, Isaac Seah, Niko Dellic, John Nguyen, Ambika Pharma