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Guidebook highlights resilient urban design

A new guide tout's Melbourne's urban forest strategy as a way to combat extreme heat.(ymgerman /

A new guidebook details how cities can strengthen their resilience through landscape planning and design.

The online guide, published by the American Society of Landscape Architects, offers tips for mitigating the impacts of drought, fire and other natural disasters. Each category features dozens of examples of relevant projects and resources.

The guide urges city planners and developers to work with nature — rather than against it — to strengthen resilience. That means not building in areas prone to hazards such as floods and landslides. It also means minimizing sprawl, which can leave cities more vulnerable to manmade and natural shocks, the guide says.

Jared Green notes here on the ASLA’s The Dirt blog that the goal of resilient design “is to retrofit communities to recover more quickly from extreme events.” The guide recommends multi-layered, scalable defenses over “heavy-handed infrastructure projects.” That’s because multi-faceted systems feature backups that remain functional even if some defenses are compromised. By comparison, if a single flood wall is breached, an entire neighborhood or city will be under water.

Click here for the entire guide. 

American Society of Landscape Architects

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