Within a context of economic anxieties, environmental concerns on the future, demographic pressures and political unpredictability spatial planning increasingly finds itself positioned in the role of speculating scenarios that would map the impacts of these unpredictable drivers in the future cities. Yet while scenario making is a key method to understand the implications on space of such uncertain futures it certainly lacks a critical position regarding the role cities can do not only to prepare for the difficult moments but also to value the role of existing resources that could be activated in the case of such unwanted events. Cities should be interested beyond surviving targets; they should be able to confront the uncertain futures with the help and support of their own devices. After a degree of pressure they should be able to resist it, and to a great extent they should be able to return to their original state.
Resilience as a concept to explore the qualities and characteristics of cities that make them more robust to resist unexpected events becomes a useful term, an exemplary concept that planners could use to test their the capacities of cities and buildings to absorb dramatic change without losing their essential elements and identity, something that is close to resilience original meaning: adjective (of a substance or object) able to recoil or spring back into shape after bending, stretching, or being compressed. The exercise works therefore on thinking and exploring the meaning of resilience in architecture and urban planning.
Exploring and testing the idea of Resilience in architecture and urban planning The Why Factory has run a number of studios and workshops internationally including NLToDo workshops in 2008 and 2009 at TU Delft, Resilience workshop at AEDES Berlin in 2012 and NL Resilience design studio at TU Delft in 2013. These studies were also published in City Shock, which is a part of The Why Factory’s Future City book series.