chapter  8
13 Pages

Exposure and resilience in the city

The German philosopher Johann Wolfgang Goethe stated that: ‘he who cannot draw on three thousand years is living from hand to mouth’ and when considering the concept of a resilient city this advice may be a conservative estimate. Although urban planning as a formal organization only has its roots in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, history demonstrates that many settlements have displayed evidence of autonomous or planned adaptation in response to perceived natural and human threats. The notion of ‘resilient’ or ‘adaptive’ cities may be relatively recent, but, as the quote from Mumford helps illustrate, the broad themes of protection, durability and recovery have been associated with cities from time immemorial.