Urban Resilience in Pretoria | Workshops with Pretoria University

As part of an South African National Research Foundation funded project on Urban Resilience (NRF Grant 78649), the School of the Built Environment is hosting Serge Salat of the Urban Morphology Institute in Paris. As part of the activities built around Prof Salat’s visit, the University hosted a number of events in collaboration with the University of the Witwatersrand as well as two professional institutions, the Urban Design Institute of South Africa (UDISA) and the Pretoria Institute of Architecture (PIA), thereby promoting the development of partnerships between key institutions and promoting research innovation in the profession.

The first of these events was a two-day inter-disciplinary master class with design professionals in the built environment interested in the challenging issue of creating resilient urban forms in the face of rapidly urbanising South African cities, organised in collaboration with the PIA. During this time, urban designers and architects engaged with Serge Salat’s theories of resilience and the complexity within urban morphology that is required to create possibilities for resilience. They also looked at the study of urban form and its connection to sustainable and resilient cities. Professionals from around the country and the continent provided insightful engagement during the sessions and discussions. They identified the challenge resulting from limited inter-disciplinary engagement in all sectors of the built environment as contributing toward the lock-in that is being created in the newly developing areas of our cities.

The one-day seminar co-hosted by Wits and UDISA, provided a forum for professionals, students and academics from a number of Universities and private institutions to hear two keynote speakers, Dr Salat, and Dr.Sophia Psarra from The Bartlett at University College London. There were also a number of presentations by researchers in the field of urban resilience which resulted in a strong engagement between the participants and speakers. Both events received positive feedback from participants, indicating the value of collaboration between academics, professionals, researchers and their respective institutions in an attempt to tackle the complex, large-scale issues affecting the capacity of our cities to thrive in the future.

The presentations of the workshop are available for download:

Urban forms PretoriaUrban form tree