Resilience and Adaptation Science: From Theory to Practice

Through the lens of climate change, this foundation course surveys the intellectual development of resilience and adaptation in the social, natural and applied sciences. Through a critical reading and analysis of central bodies of literature, students are provided a conceptual and empirical basis for exploring emerging applied practices in the built environment. The practice component of the course focuses on community resilience in urban planning, technical resilience in civil engineering, multi-hazard risk assessment in disaster risk management, and adaptation mainstreaming in the public and private sectors. This diverse range of applications reflects the opportunities for designers and planners to engage in new forms of practice that synthetically negotiate and mediate various socioeconomic and biophysical forces. Positioned within an emerging field of study, this course identifies many of the key unanswered questions that are critical for future conceptual and empirical development. With a focus on environmental change and the built environment, students will develop a critical understanding of relevant public policies and institutions, design techniques, economic strategies and planning models. The course pedagogy balances lectures, seminar readings and case study reviews to link theory with practice. At the conclusion of the course, students will be prepared to engage advanced coursework in climate change planning, disaster risk management, environmental planning, urban adaptation and conflict studies.