Verzella / Water Resilience

Water Resilience Operative Key Concepts for Climate-resilient Urban Waterfronts

Author: Elena Verzella, University of Ferrara

Supervisor: Alessandro Massarente, Prof., University of Ferrara

Research stage: Initial doctoral stage

Category: Paper

DDR Statement

When dealing with climate change and water-related disasters, uncertainty becomes one of the main components to cope with: uncertainty about the magnitude and frequency of their effects, uncertainty about their future evolution, uncertainty about the effectiveness of the possible solutions, now and in the coming decades. Consequentially, the interaction of so many different variables and factors originates a complex and always changing system which can hardly be disentangled through traditional scientific research tools. For this reason, a design-driven approach has been necessarily chosen as a preferred method to carry out the research, in order to develop a dynamic process which can be responsive to the changing external conditions and still represent a starting point for further knowledge production.

Following this interpretation, the research is articulated in three main moments. The first one is the definition, through a literature review, of the key concepts that build up the fundamental vocabulary of the research. They are divided into “explorative” key concepts, aiming at defining the theoretical background of the research, and “operative” key concepts, which are meant to provide the tools through which to translate the defined objectives into appliable design principles. The second moment identifies several case studies which, despite presenting different scale, sites and typologies, share a similar design approach consistent with the key concepts established in the previous step. Through their analysis, a system of potential design strategies will be defined. Finally, the last moment tries to organise the results collected in the previous phases into a design methodology and tests its feasibility in different contexts, such as the Adriatic one.

These moments, though, are not meant to be subsequentially structured, but fluidly interwoven, in a more circular process of defining, questioning and redeveloping different and more refined design pathways.