The al. (2001, p. 765) link resilience to

patterns and models of sustainability and resilience have different significant
impacts on urban form both in its research and practice, which attempts to
frame principled approaches regarding the delicate relationships between the
built, the natural and the social environments.

term ‘resilience’ is increasingly being used in different contexts, from psychological,
physical, social, ecological, city, and community to individual resilience. Furthermore,
‘Resilience’ is now being used in land use planning context by interchangeably
used the term resilience planning with sustainability.

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has been closely linked with sustainability for more than a decade which
provides a major theoretical contribution to understand the possible sources of
sustainability (Fiskel 2006, Folke 2006). Carpenter et al. (2001, p. 765) link
resilience to sustainability, as the term “resilience” is often used to
describe the characteristic attributes of a system that are related to sustainability.
Walker and Salt (2006, p. xiii) define resilience as “the capacity of a system
to absorb disturbance and still retain its basic function and structure”. By understanding
urban resilience and urban sustainability, as two concepts that promote a
diversity of solutions to social-ecological problems, implies that urban
planning needs to incorporate them to further transform cities (Wilkinson
2012). Incorporating resilience to reinforce system dynamics is the key to achieve
future desired sustainability states.

concept of resilience is gaining increasing importance across different literatures
on cities and climate change. However, there are still conflicts among the
different literatures about how to define and measure resilience. It is
acceptable that resilience is a good thing but defining it depends on the
choices made. So there is a need to be specific about the choices involved in
increased resilience, first by asking what should be resilient – the built
environment, infrastructure or the urban form.



is mostly discussed as bouncing back from a disturbance. However, the recent more
ecological concept of resilience is not only about recovery and bouncing back
from a disturbance but also the ability to adapt, often termed as adaptive
capacity. In this context resilience is the capacity of a system to experience
shocks while maintaining its function, structure, and, therefore, identity.

concept of urban resilience, as defined by Holling (1987) is “the ability of a
city to absorb a disturbance while maintaining its functions and structure”.
Urban Resilience has been defined as the amount of disturbance an urban system can absorb while retaining
its state, and the extent to which the system can build and increase its
capacity for adapting the changes (Folke et al 2004). Although resilience has
been explored in many complex social-ecological systems (Folke et al 2004) it
has only recently been applied in the context of cities (Ernstson et al 2010). “A
Resilient City is one that has developed capacities to help absorb future
shocks and stresses to its social, economic, and technical systems and
infrastructures so as to still be able to maintain essentially the same
functions, structures, systems, and identity.”

the cities must be focused on
sustainable development agenda, as among
the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,
the Goal 11 “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and
sustainable” also emphasize on the resiliency and sustainability of the cities.
The planning and design professions of cities need to be challenged to
find new patterns, new technologies, new economic models, new public services, and
more to plan and implement the strategies which eventually increase the resilience
capacities of our cities. However, in order to
increase the capacities of cities for resilience, the cities will need to adopt
such urban planning and building design approaches which increase their
abilities to better adapt and respond to social, physical, ecological and
economic stresses.

increase the capacity of cities for resilience, it is widely accepted that
cities must be at focus in the sustainable development agenda as the urban
forms of cities affect their overall environment performance and management. Therefore,
sustainable urban form can be defined as the form which enables the city to function
within its natural and manmade carrying capacities that is user friendly to the
community and also promotes social equity through involving them in the
decision making processes. Hence, urban form is a spatial composition of
elements, and if it is based on sustainable concepts, can lead to the
resilience and sustainability of cities.

concept of resilience offers a means to tackle the long-term growth of the urban
form and to explore the changes and their effectiveness on different approaches
regarding planning, design, operation, management, value and governance, sustainability
debate, and climate change, which helped to focus consideration on fragilities
and the need to create resilience across these scales.


There is a strong relationship between
density, form, sustainability and resilience (Heng and Malone-Lee 2009). There
has also been an interacting relationship between urban form and the people
existing within the urban form – the public realm or the streets. It is the
relationship between the public realm and the city that has defined how cities
look and also how they function. When this relationship breaks down and fails
to function, cities die or whither. On contrary, when this relationship persists,
the cities become resilient. As a result, the study of urban form ultimately
becomes a study of urban resilience – the Resilient City.

resilience is a critical element of sustainable development. Investing in
resilience contributes to long-term sustainability by ensuring current
development gains and safeguarded future generations’ needs. Urban resilience
is a systemic property and needs to be examined as an interconnected concept of
urban sustainability, however in order to understand the different dimensions of
urban resilience and how they relate to each other in making adaptive cities
and systems is also related to the overall urban planning. 

issue of urban resilience is one of increasing urgency for the World Bank Group
and is completely associated with the development objectives of the broader
development community. Investment decisions taken now will have long-term
impact for development in the future and prove to be critical in preventing
cities from unsustainable development pathways, or being exposed to
increasingly intense and frequent urban shocks and stresses. As the cities are homes to the future,
with more than 60% of world population living in cities, the focus is on how to
make them more sustainable in terms of consumption, living conditions and
socio-environmental paths. Among the developed countries, Europe is in general
in a good position for developing the new tools and strategies needed towards a
positive transition to resilient and sustainable urban areas.

On the other hand, developing countries want
to attract the human capital for economic aspect (Suzuki et al. 2010). The last
few decades have experienced unprecedented urban growth in the developing
world, particularly in Asia and Africa, where a three times increase in the built
up urban area (up to 0.6 million square km of cities with million plus
populations) from year 2000 to 2030 is projected. Developing countries see it
as an opportunity for development and accept it as preferable. Long travel
distances, health, congestion and fuel emissions, inequity, pollution and
degrading environment, loss of land such as agricultural and natural assets are
major issues seen in developing world cities due to an impact of a physical
urban form (Barrow 1995). Moreover, with the passage of time due to economic
development, industrialization, rural-urban migration and allied factors has
brought a major transformation to cities and urban centers throughout the world
and particularly in the developing countries to grow beyond their usual administrative
limits. This growth requires the cities and urban centers to be resilient in
order to
absorb these changes and disturbance while maintaining the functions and
structure of the cities.

the critical question of urban resilience is that whether the old and
contemporary urban areas and their different communities are ready to face a
multiplicity of challenges and uncertainties in the future. Most importantly,
there is a need to determine whether the urban areas and communities, at the present,
focus to adopt such means which ultimately move them from a vulnerable to a more
resilient state. Moreover, since human action contributes to the altering of
the ecosystem locally and globally (Chapin et al., 2011; Folke et al., 2011),
to what extent the cities should be resilient in order to contribute to
environmental protection, and urban sustainability.

significance of sustainability is internationally acclaimed and various urban
forms evolved through modern urban planning practices, but often the concern
for their negative impacts is observed as missing. Although urban form has
positive or negative impact on accessibility to facilities, travel attributes
(distance and time), energy used, social equity, efficient use of land,
economic benefits, liveliness, etc. But the debate on the most suitable urban
form to achieve sustainability and resilience is still unresolved. To evolve
urban sustainability and urban resilience, the relationships between urban form
and the various elements of a city need to be understood.

In Pakistan, the scales of urbanization
effects to population lived in a city are alarming to resilience, sustainability
and standard of life. As in case of Lahore, with the increasing rate of
urbanization & migration from the surrounding areas into the city, the
change in urban form and infrastructure are challenging the urban areas to be
adaptive and resilient. Moreover, the urbanization in Pakistan will certainly
impact on global sustainability as the ecological footprint.  

Here the question arises to ponder on that: how
to increase and improve the capacity of the urban areas so that they can absorb
and adopt the changes and disturbances while simultaneously bringing the city
towards a sustainable and resilient path. Since cities are constantly evolving
and at any point of time exhibit their unique character through their urban
structure, which can be mapped and measured. However, cities have a hidden
structure which is to be understood only through analyzing the data, more particularly
the land use and population distribution. The scales at which urban form can be
measured include the individual building, street, urban block, neighborhood and
city. These levels of spatial disaggregation influence how urban form is
measured, analyzed and ultimately understood. Understanding the spatial
organization of a city allows planners to decide the course of action for
future development and to frame strategies that are integral to the existing
spatial structure; and that provide the city a resilient and sustainable path.

Some of the major criteria that can be used
in a framework for assessment of urban resilience include infrastructure, urban
form, social and demographics, security, environment, economy, and institutions.
Out of these, the urban form and its characteristics including density,
transportation network, accessibility, mixed use land composition, and
buildings & their design have been used for the assessment of urban
resilience of the selected case study area.

central premise of this study is that the urban form of a city can affect its
resilience and sustainability. This study is an attempt to measure the existing
urban form of a city and to assess its potential to develop it towards more
sustainable and resilient existence. This research study proposes to focus on
the resilience of urban design and urban form of the selected areas as case
study and to determine the final resilience of these areas using the different
indicators of urban form and GIS based Spatial Analysis.

Research Questions

Following are the research question for this study.

What are the
different policies adopted in developed and developing countries to improve the
resilience of urban areas?

What is the
capacity of the selected case study areas in terms of urban form and its
indicators by conducting different surveys in the selected case study areas?

What maps can be
generated based on selected indicators of urban form using Geographic
Information System?

What is the
final resilience of the selected case study areas by generating a combined map
for all the urban form indicators using the GIS spatial analysis?

·       What
recommendations can be made for improving the resilience of the urban areas?

Research Objectives

aim of this research is to assess the resilience of urban areas towards urban form
using the GIS Based Spatial Analysis. However, following are the specific
objectives of the research:

To review the
literature addressing importance of city’s resilience towards urban form and
related policies adopted in developed and developing countries to improve the
resilience of urban areas.

To determine the
resilience in terms of urban form and its indicators by conducting different
surveys in the selected case study areas.

To generate the
maps based on selected indicators of urban form using Geographic Information

To assess the
final resilience of the selected case study areas by generating a combined map
for all the urban form indicators using the GIS spatial analysis.

·       To
draw conclusions and make recommendations for improving the resilience of the selected
case study areas/urban areas.

Justification of the

As the cities are considered to be homes to the future
generations, with more than 60% of world population living in cities, the focus
is on how to make them more sustainable in terms of consumption, living
conditions and socio-environmental footprint. Based on recognizing
environmental uncertainty and limited urban capacity, different urban
development strategies are framed in a way that combines both resilience and
sustainability. Both these concepts of resilience and sustainability are
interconnected and are vital for the present and future development of urban
areas and ultimately the countries. Among the Sustainable Development Goals
(SDGs): the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Goal 11 “Make cities
and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” also emphasize
on the resiliency and sustainability of the cities. Moreover, it is the extreme
need of today’s cities of the world to do city planning in a way that maximize
the capacity of the cities for both the present and future generation in all

is experiencing rapid urban growth and increase in its population. Over time
industrialization, rural urban migration, increased urbanization, change in
infrastructure and urban form in Lahore, need the city to be resilient and capable
to absorb these changes and disturbances while maintaining its functions and

a research is needed to suggest ways in order to increase the opportunities for
such development which would improve the capacity of the city and make it
resilient and sustainable as limited studies on resilience assessment have been
conducted in Lahore till now. This research will carry out the resilience
assessment with the help of indicators of Urban Form and GIS based spatial
analysis. The GIS spatial analysis will help to identify the level of
resilience in urban areas. The findings of this research will enable the
responsible authorities to perceive and grasp the locations required for
improvement and ultimately make the city resilient and sustainable.

Scope of the Research

research mainly focuses on resilience assessment in selected housing schemes to
suggest measures for its improvement in order to achieve the sustainable
development goal of making cities and human
settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. For this
research thesis, two housing schemes of Lahore were selected as case study
areas. The main objective is to examine the resilience of the selected urban
areas. This research also aims at comparing the neighborhood design urban form
of both schemes in order to identify which neighborhood design and urban form among
both the schemes is more viable, friendly and conducive to resilience and

macro level, literature review is carried out to find out different approaches
adopted in developed and developing countries to improve the resilience of the
urban areas.

Limitations of the

project can be implemented in a way at which at first conceived. This phenomenon
depicts that there are some limitations in every piece of work regardless of
its scale.

·       The
foremost limitation faced in this task was the absence of past reference
material & previous approaches as no refined study related to resilience has
been conducted in Lahore.

·       Selection
of case study areas and data collection from residents through questionnaires
was also set according to limited human resource.

·       Time
limitation was imposed by the university, therefore; precise research has to be
carried out in order to finish it in time.

·       Lack
of financial resources was another drawback

Framework of the
Research by Work and Time

the completion of research project within the estimated time, which
materializes from the objectives of the study, it is essential to have a
rational research method and a well-organized approach. The framework of
project by work and time is shown in Figure 1.1.

Report Breakup

traditional structure was followed while writing this thesis. It is divided
into following five Chapters.

1st chapter provides
information about some very basic and pre-requisites of the study. This
includes the topics like problem statement, research questions, objectives of
the research along with its scope and justification, limitations faced during
research, and framework of project by work and time.

2nd chapter
includes basic concepts of resilience and its importance. It describes how GIS
based spatial analysis can help in assessment of resilience of the urban areas.
It also illustrates different policies adopted in developed and developing
countries to improve resilience and sustainability of urban areas. It describes
a brief review of those policy guidelines in Pakistan which promote the concept
of resilience.

chapter explains the detailed methodology to carry out the
research. It describes all the data collection stages for the resilience
assessment in selected case study areas. The approach adopted to assess the
resilience in terms of urban form, surveys conducted form the urban form
indicators and GIS based spatial analysis is discussed in detail in this

chapter is the second last chapter of the report. This
chapter gives comprehensive assessment of resilience in the selected schemes
with the help of supportive facts, figures and maps. This chapter gives the
detailed outcomes drawn from the interviews with the residents in the case
study areas.

5th chapter presents the
conclusions and recommendations drawn on the basis of surveys, GIS spatial
analysis and interviews with residents. In this part, main issues and problems
of the case study area regarding the resilience of urban form have been
disclosed in order to suggest applicable recommendations


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