Tag Archives: resiliency

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Building Collective Efficacy and Resiliency in Cities

In the July 3rd episode of The Urbanist podcast, the host Andrew Tuck explores the hot-topic issue of resilience in urban areas. As he points out, especially with respect to increasingly extreme and unpredictable weather events, academics, designers, foundations, politicians and activists are all looking for the solutions that will allow cities to bounce back, adapt, or evolve after natural or man-made disaster strikes. This post explores the importance of non-physical, community building roles in resilience planning and relates this importance to the concept of “collective efficacy” often used in criminology research.

Infrastructural Ecology’s Value In Conceptual Design

As I mention in a previous post, there is much appeal to utilizing ecological models and frameworks to understand phenomenon that one might not immediately associate with the field of biological ecology. In this article I outline how the framework of infrastructural ecology can help the analysis and conceptual design for site sustainability and resilience.

The ‘Ecology’ of Urban Ecology

“Ecology” is another one of those words that I’ve hearing more and more, used in ways that you might not immediately associate with the field of ecology. The “ecology of innovation” for example, is a term that describes the actors, interactions, and environmental conditions necessary to foster the propagation of innovative ideas. Relating to the field of urban planning, I’ve come across three main aspects of urban ecology: the quantitative/modeling studies, the sociological and historical conceptual frameworks, and the urban ecological design principals. These three aspects make up the “ecology” of urban ecology because they influence and interact with each other, are evolving, and exist within a broader context which shapes them all.

Resiliency Call and Response: Legacy Cities & Green Infrastructure

The plight of Detroit, which has been prominently covered both in the media and in urban planning circles, may be an extreme example of urban decay, with its reported (albeit now falling) 25% vacancy rate and startlingly eerie images, but it is hardly a unique phenomenon. Legacy cities, those once prosperous centers of industry and culture are now struggling to survive in a new knowledge-based economy. So what does green infrastructure have to do with this conversation? It’s all about a changing concept of resiliency.

Steven Kolmes’ presentation at UPenn on OR WQ standards


A couple weeks ago, Steve Kolmes of the University of Portland came by Penn to speak about EPA methodology for setting ambient WQ standards. He presented his involvement and knowledge with the process of amending Oregon’s water quality standards, touching on the technical aspects of toxicology, political framework, and the ethics of water quality regulation in the United States. I will summarize my main takeaways from the presentation here.