Habitat Unit

June 27 – July 1, 2016 | IfA TU Berlin

DISASTER CITY: Potentials for Risk Prevention, Emergency Resilience and
Reconstruction Management in Cities facing Catastrophes

1. Description and Aims

Post-catastrophes management and reconstruction have in recent time exceeded the technical dimension of building techniques and financing to include social, environmental elements, thus turning into a complex, multidimensional challenge. While the actions of reconstruction attempt a respond to the immidiate need for infrastructure and housing through rapid or temporary construction methods, several other issues arise in dealing with damaged assets such as the appropriateness of restoration and reconstruction of urban fabric and buildings, its social acceptance, its cultural pertinence and its comprehensive sustainablity.

In this perspective, facing destruction and the need to rebuild, several questions arise: What policies need to be adopted or formulated to strengthen territories affected by natural disasters? How are these policies implemented in practice? How to involve the public authorities, the population and the technicians in order to improve the resilience of both communities and the built environment? Is it necessary to develop ad-hoc or prescriptive tools? How are these relevant towards a wider regional intervention? While the actions of reconstruction attempt a respond to the immediate need for housing through construction methods of rapid development, several other issues of longer timespan consequences need to be accounted for and integrated in the early interventions.

The Thematic Conference, main activity of the Project aims at the identification of specific thematic areas for academic and teaching development in the articulation of three fields regarding catastrophes management and reconstruction after catastrophes: Potentials for Risk Prevention, Emergency Resilience and Reconstruction Management in Cities facing Catastrophes. It is based on existing contacts and previous cooperation at the level of faculty members and draws on the strategic partnership declared between TU-Berlin and POLIMI, towards joint work in critical areas of common interest. 

2. Problem Scope: Risk, Emergency, Resilience and Reconstruction As a result of the proposed
Conference and related activities a number of specific topics will be identified and agreed among the partner researchers, based on an open discussion of their previous experiences, as being relevant for further cooperation, teaching and research. The topics identified will be further elaborated both in Italy and in Germany as a result of the conference and subsequent Compact Seminar, and will be synthesized in a Publication. These results should lead to the formulation of new cooperation projects in teaching and research applications.

3. Cities, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management Towards Habitat III  

In preparation of Habitat III, in the Issue Paper 17 – “Cities, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management” has characterized the role of cities in a context of Climate Change and Disaster Risk:

“Being the engines of socio-economic development, cities inevitably become concentrations of disaster risks and greenhouse gas emissions, in turn fueling Climate Change and its impacts. But some cities and people are more vulnerable than others. Per the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2014): “Much of the health risk and vulnerability to climate change is concentrated in [informal] settlements. Many cities include dangerous sites, such as steep slopes, low lands adjacent to unprotected riverbanks and ocean shorelines, and have structures that do not meet building codes”. Vulnerability to the impacts of climate change goes beyond mere exposure to extreme weather events. Many cities in developing countries “are caught in a `perfect storm’ of population growth, escalating adaptation needs and substantial development deficits created by a shortage of human and financial resources, increasing levels of informality, poor governance, environmental degradation, biodiversity loss, poverty and growing inequality” (IPCC 2014).

“Disasters, many exacerbated by climate change, impede progress towards sustainable development, sometimes reversing years of advances in a single event. Evidence indicates that exposure of persons and assets in all countries has increased faster than vulnerability has decreased, with significant economic, social, health, cultural and environmental impact, especially at the local and community level" (GAR 2015).

Trying to integrate the concepts proposed in this Issue Paper, the opportunity of Habitat III in Qiuto and the recent occurrence of a major earthquake in the coast of Ecuador, TU-Berlin and POLIMI have broadened the scope of interest to that country taking as cases of study in the periphery of Quito Carapungo - Calderón and in the coastal region, Chamanga. This has led to an extended cooperation platform including the Universidad Tecnológica Equinoccial UTE, based in Quito. With this extended team, the work has been organised integrated in a series of Workshops of which this takes part: Workshop Quito (3WinAReQ Quito 2016 Carapungo- Calderón / Chamanga): June 6 - 10; Workshop Berlin: (Disaster City) June 27 - July 1; Workshop Milano (MiArch): October 5 - 8; UN-Habitat Conference: October 17 - 20; Also following the guidelines of Issue Paper 17, the cooperation work group has defined as keywords the following issues: Climate Change Adaptation, Climate Change Mitigation, vulnerability, disaster and climate risks, disaster risk management, risk-informed urban development and investment.

Conference_Disaster City_Poster

The event is organised in cooperation with Politecnico di Milano. The conference and workshop are funded by DAAD „Hochschuldialog mit Südeuropa" program.

Conference and Workshop Schedule+

Session A - Monday, June 27, 2016

10:00 M.Sc. Students Seminar Workshop Kick-off, General Introduction, Students and Supervisors
10:30 M.Sc. Students Seminar Presentation on Recycling and Reconstruction, Presentation of Conclusions of 3WinAReQ Quito 2016 Workshop, Students
11:15 Work program and briefing, Supervisors
13:00 Lunch Break

Conference Lectures
14:00 Precarious Settlements Planning and Improvement for Preparedness, Prof. Dr. Philipp Misselwitz
14:45 Permanence v/s Variability, Dr. Juan Carlos Dall' Asta
15:30 L'Aquila After the Earthquake. Reactivation of the Historic Center, M.Sc. Arch. Nina Bassoli
16:15 Disaster, Planning, Resilience, Reconstruction: The earthquake and the city of Chillán, Dr. Horacio Torrent 
17:00 Seismic monitoring and vulnerability framework for civil protection, Prof. Dr. Yuriy Petryna 
17:45 Round Table Discussion, Referents and Audience

Session B - Tuesday, June 28, 2016

09:00 M.Sc. Students Seminar Workshop Supervision, Students and Supervisors
12:00 M.Sc. Thesis Presentation: Natural hazards impacts on urban development: The Case study of Aigio, Greece, Andre Schwartz
13:00 Lunch Break

Conference Lectures
14:00 La rigenerazione dei tessuti urbani marginali: costruire un percorso di ricerca tramite sperimentazioni progettuali, Prof. Dr. Ilaria Valente
14:45 Planning Laboratory: Nord-Neukölln reuse and participation, Dr. Paola Alfaro
15:30 TBD, Prof. Dr. Emilia Corradi
16:15 Stem urban Cells, Prof. Arch. Tagliabue
17:00 Round Table Discussion, Referents and Audience


Session C - Wednesday, June 29, 2016

09:00 M.Sc. Students Seminar Workshop Supervision, Students and Supervisors
12:00 PhD Thesis: Water Urban Sensitive Design - Resilience practices for climate change adaptation in the case study of East Napoli, Cristina Visconti
13:00 Lunch Break 

Conference Lectures
14:00 History of Archeology as a History of Recycling, Prof. Dr. Andrea Gritti
14:45 Reclaiming Heritage: Reusing debris materials and recovering building methods for reconstruction, M. Arch. Renato D'Alencon
15:30 Minimal invasiven Techniken für den substanzschonenden Umbau von Lehmbauten in Erdbebengebieten, Dipl.-Ing. Arch. Eike Roswag
16:15 Padiglione - Museo Artemision, Siracusa, Arch. Vincenzo Latina
17:00 Round Table Discussion, Referents and Audience


Session D - Thursday, June 30, 2016

9:00 - 10:30 Urban Resilience and Reconstruction in Berlin. Urban Models for Reconstruction and Community Development, Prof Dr. Misselwitz
10:30 - 12:00 Exemplary Buildings in Berlin: Chapel of the Reconciliation, 'Platten Wiedervereinigung', Monuments Reconstruction, Dipl.-Ing. Arch. Eike Roswag
13:00 Lunch Break
15:00 M.Sc. Students Seminar Workshop Supervision, Students and Supervisors
20:00 Conference Dinner


Session E - Friday, July 1, 2016

9:00 Resilience-based design and disaster risk mitigation as opportunity for urban regeneration
10:00 M.Sc. Students Seminar Workshop Supervision Students, Supervisors
13:00 Lunch Break
14:00 Workshop Review, Outlook and Further Development, Supervisors and Guests
18:30 Farewell


IfA, Halle 7
Institute for Architecture, TU Berlin
Strasse des 17. Juni 152
10623 Berlin


Renato D'Alençon Castrillón

Room A 621
T + 49 – 30 – 314 – 21833
F + 49 – 30 – 314 – 21907