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Resilient urban form and governance

This project analysed how urban places are sustained and developed over time. It explored the adaptability of places to varied contexts of change and uncertainty which shape the evolution of the built city.

This project involved an exploration of the interplay between the designed and built qualities of urban form and urban governance over time in creating ‘resilience’. Its focus was on neighbourhood-scaled pieces of major cities and urbanised regions which exemplify long-term processes of land management through ownership, planning, investment and development. It examined the role of these processes in informing the patterns and timeframes of infrastructure provision, build-out, adaptation, renewal and redevelopment that characterise how such areas evolve from their inception. The project aimed, first, to evaluate the ‘resilience’ of different sorts of urban form to the varied contexts of change and uncertainty which shape the evolution of the built city. Second, it aimed to explore the roles of ‘city builders’ over the long-term in influencing the resilience which different sorts of urban form and infrastructure are able to acquire over time.

The Evolving Cities report emerged from the first phase of this research based on eight case studies. It concludes by outlining several key approaches seen at this stage to be requisite for building urban resilience for the future. These are also summarised in the report’s Executive Summary.

The project is undertaken with the generous support of Grosvenor and Neil Smith (founding partner of Rockwood Capital).

Project Team

Project coordinators
Juliet Davis, Sabina Uffer


26 April 2012 | ‘New Urbanity – Cities vs Global Challenges’, International Symposium Belgrade, Serbia.


Research reports

Evolving Cities — publication details | download full PDF (40.3 MB)


Uffer, S. and Davis, J., 2012. What and who makes urban form resilient? An analysis of historic developments in Berlin and London, International Symposium on Sustainable Development and Planning, 26-28 April, Belgrade.

Project coordinators
Juliet Davis, Sabina Uffer

Project Partners
LSE Enterprise, Urban Land Institute

Project Funder

Research Strand
Urban Governance

2011-2012 (Phase 1)