Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sustainability (Greening): Morphing into Engineered Resilience?

Source: Urban Land Institute, "Land Writes: Engineered Resilience" by Rives Taylor, July 2012
(Excerpt) “When prairies burn, they don’t die. The destruction jump-starts an elegant system of rebirth. Species of plants, insects, and bacteria that lay dormant in the soil are brought to life, energized and fertilized by the super-heat of the fire, the super-charcoalization of the burned grasses, and the sun’s ability to penetrate the ground, after the 20-foot-tall (6.1 m) vegetation is gone. Natural selection kept those survivor species viable in the soil as a plan for the future. Life begins again, quickly.”

Source: ULI, "Land Writes: Engineered Resilience” by Rives Taylor

Rives Taylor is a principal at Gensler, an architecture, planning, and design firm, where he orchestrates sustainability and resilience planning for clients around the globe. He also leads sustainable design education at the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture at the University of Houston, and teaches sustainable design at Rice University, also in Houston.
ource: ULI, Rives Taylor

‘Engineered Resilience’ is a term that has been written and compellingly explained first by others. To me, if something is engineered it probably includes some planning. Likely, is at least some creative forethought and disciplined application of principles -- often resulting in added value. Advocates of sustainability may also see benefits in embracing resilience.
(Excerpt) “Engineered resilience (as opposed to biological resilience) is a physical thing. And [some say] it is next-generation sustainability ... Whereas sustainability focuses on the well-being of the planet (with significant ripple effects for human well-being and long-term operational savings), resilience adds adaptability and the protection of human life to that definition …

We are living in an era of … exposed deep vulnerabilities in our built environment and infrastructure …[and] something exquisitely calculable: risk management [emphasis added] …

Risk management gives companies both the right lead-in to talk about resilience … and a logical category to which to assign it in the budget .... And because sustainability is morphing into resilience, we are finding companies often redirecting their ‘greening’ costs to a broader program of resilience …”

Source: “Land Writes: Engineered Resilience”
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