Lessons For Modern Cities From The Australian Floods

Lessons For Modern Cities From The Australian Floods

Sydney-based architect Dan Hill offers first hand observations of how cities can become more resilient.

Naresh Kumar
  • 14 january 2011

Australian architect Dan Hill provides excellent coverage of the flood situation in Brisbane and why a better layout of the city could have mitigated the effects of the floodwaters. From poorly built houses to lack of distributed pattern of food production and availability of amenities only in superstores, Hill provides several lessons to be learned for the future, not just for Brisbane, but perhaps for other modern cities of the world too.

The Grist reports:

There is little or no distributed pattern of food production (just as more solar power would’ve been handy today, and yet is not installed much, in this sunniest of places.) Again, a chance to rethink? It feels incredibly fragile. There is already no bread in the shops, and milk and yoghurt long gone too. And no collective memory for producing such things from within any communities.

In Beirut, due to the variability of its fabric, everyday needs have to be met locally, as you’re never sure whether a road will be there or not. As a result, there is what you might call ‘network redundancy’ i.e. every few streets has a grocers, bakers, coffee shop, ironmongers, tailors etc. etc. This, as opposed to the centralised and consolidated model of western cities, most obviously visible in the out-of-town mall accessed by car, with all the apparent economies of scale that entails. Yet the former is actually more resilient, for sure. … It would have been better to have been in a place with a walkscore of something approaching 100 (see But there is nothing around us, barely pavements, and now the connecting infrastructure of roads is so easily compromised.

City Of Sound: “Flood”

[via Grist]


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