In 2003 the historical city of Bam in Iran demonstrated that lack of resilience before the onset of shocks can push a city toward disastrous outcomes. The outcome of the 2003 magnitude 6.6 earthquake placed Bam on a critical pitchfork of transformation. How can cities and communities that have suffered from similar events in Bam, revitalise themselves from the multidimensional impacts of natural disasters on the fabric of societies, learn from their past, become stronger and even find ways
We answer to these questions by looking at the heart of urban planning and community development in Iran. After the analysis of Iran’s Urban Master Plan, we identified that the majority of the Iranian cities follow a traditional model of urban planning that pays little attention to urban systems’ capacities for adaptability and transformability. Filling this gap is of significant importance especially when the urban structures have to be changed and transformed into new systems as result of major events such as Bam’s catastrophic earthquake. Therefore, in this article we call for adopting an adaptive urban planning framework that fits three pillars of the complexity of cities, the uncertainty of the world, and the rapid pace of urbanisation. Such adaptive framework has to consider that cities are complex systems, consist of many different interacting parts, all of which play a role in shaping cities’ adaptation strategies. If these parts are not working together, cities cannot regenerate their resilience. As a result, they become vulnerable and fragile. Adopting an urban planning framework in Iran has various applications. First, it can help Iran’s cities to increase their awareness of future shocks, develop cities’ shock profile, and put in place appropriate adaptive capacity and mitigation plans before these shocks can become catastrophic. Second, an adaptive urban planning can support communities, urban planners, the government, and the international organisations to work together purposefully and as a system. Finally, an adaptive approach to urban planning can shed light on the specific and general pathways through which the collective of the Iranian cities can enhance their general and specific resilience.
|Number of pages||1|
|Publication status||Published - 20 Apr 2015|
- Sustainable development