Panel 3
    Design for Resilient Communities

    Communities are people, and people create communities. Architects can positively impact the lives of millions, even billions, by building for the future, and creating communities that last. Resilient communities are communities that thrive, even through hardships, and are well-equipped to handle the challenges of the future. 

    Panel 3: Design for Resilient Communities
    Panel 3: Design for Resilient Communities

    Panel Chairs: Anna Rubbo and Juan Du


    A resilient community anticipates, adapts to, and recovers from adversity. Design for resilient communities encourages innovative solutions and facilitates the development of knowledge and skills necessary for adaptation and recovery. Climate change, the global pandemic, and political upheavals in many countries have revealed social, economic, and environmental inequalities that threaten communities worldwide. These fault lines often impact the poor, people of color, and women disproportionately. Design for resilient communities requires interdisciplinary approaches to articulate these cross sectoral issues, as well as informed co-design partnerships to achieve community driven solutions.

    The UN SDGs and the New Urban Agenda offer roadmaps to a more sustainable future. This panel seeks to encourage familiarity with the interconnections between all SDGs and targets, and how, through design and planning, the SDGs can enhance community resilience for specific localities and people. Through multiple scales and perspectives, the panel aims to share knowledge about design research and practices that contribute positively to building resilient communities- with and for people. Contributions to the panel should indicate lessons that might be replicated or scaled up, and whether they demonstrate consideration of any of the 17 SDGs or the NUA.

    In addition to the actions of design professionals, a key concern of this Panel is the role of research and its dissemination in accessible forms , and how architectural education can best prepare tomorrow’s professionals to design for resilient communities. In each of the sub-topics, we invite contributors to draw upon research, professional practice, education, participation in local government or NGOs, or their experiences as members of communities.

    Sub-panels for Design for Resilient Communities


    Do the SDGs and the New Urban Agenda have the potential to improve citizen’s capacity to withstand, adapt or recover from adversity that may arise from social, cultural, political or climate change events. Can they support/guide Design for Resilient Communities?


    Is participatory planning and inclusive (co-) design essential for the Design for Resilient Communities? Under what circumstances and how? How can policy, practice, education and research increase inclusionary strategies, strengthen economies, protect the natural environment and biodiversity, and reduce carbon footprints?


    Climagte change, the global pandemic and ensuing political upheavals have laid bare systemic inequality across the world. Can site specific examples offer lessons for education, research and practice that will encourage better Design for Resilient Communities?


    Can global corporations, especially those that have adopted the SDGs or other sustainability frameworks contribute to the Design for Resilient Communities through their in-country offices? Can ‘glocal’ practices impact local design, research and education cultures positively, and if so, would glocal offices have to rethink their own professional cultures? How?



    The Right to the City asserts equal access to all the opportunities of urban life. Today , many cities are unaffordable for working people. Can housing (and open space) that is affordable, accessible, healthy , safe, well designed , carbon neutral and proximate to urban areas be achieved? Can design professionals, researchers and city makers help solve this seemingly intractable problem at the heart of Design for Resilient Communities? How?


    Digital access and knowhow have become a cornerstone of democratic life. How can design address digital inequalities such as those experienced in the pandemic by disadvantaged groups, including children, and help create resilient communities?


    Design for Resilient Communities requires agile professionals, capable of meeting new challenges. Tomorrow’s leaders are being educated in today’s schools, and in the crucible of youth protest movements. To succeed, tomorrow’s professionals require interdisciplinary knowledge, including tools to address climate change and social change, as well as the ability to work collaboratively with communities. Curricula that promote critical thinking and new modes of professionalism are required; the design studio allows for important investigations in these areas.
    Design for Resilient Communities invites studio projects that consider the SDGs, the New Urban Agenda, the Green New Deal or other resilience building strategies that will kickstart new thinking/new conversations across the spectrum of the six UIA Scientific Committee panels, and potentially help articulate or meet the challenges we face.

    Visit the six panels

    Panel 1
    Design for Climate Adaptation

    Architecture faces a grave challenge in a world struck by climate change. The built environment must adapt to changing weather patterns, higher temperatures and flooding.

    Panel 2
    Design for Rethinking Resources

    Resources are getting scarcer, and architects need to address this issue. By using novel materials and recycling on a much greater scale, architecture can change its approach to resources.

    Panel 4
    Design for Health

    Healthy living takes place in healthy environments, and architects can help improve public health through careful planning, building and consideration.

    Panel 5
    Design for Inclusivity

    A sustainable world is one with room and consideration for all people. Architects must design with inclusivity in mind, and take care to understand the needs of the many different people that inhabit the globe.

    Panel 6
    Design for Partnerships of Change

    Architects must foster partnerships, and work across many different professions and skills to create a sustainable and inclusive future.

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