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Climate Urbanism in the Post-pandemic World: Mapping Vulnerabilities and Exploring Community Activism in East London

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Abstract

This chapter proposes an approach to understand and map city social and environmental vulnerabilities, alongside bottom-up and emerging community experiences in response to the pandemic, with the aim to provide a critical understanding on whether the goal of designing climate resilient and socially inclusive post-pandemic neighbourhoods can be achievable. This is in response to the UN-HABITAT call to enhance the ‘resiliency against all hazards’, in times of pandemic, and tackle together economic shocks, public health crisis, and climate challenges. A framework of city resiliency based on the principles of climate urbanism is applied to the Lower Lea Valley in East London, in the context of studio pedagogy. This helps envision how to design post-pandemic sustainable climate actions, while critically taking into account the role of communities and other local actors. However, it also shows that such scenarios might reproduce inequality at the local level, with limited capacity to address inclusion if multi-level and multi-scalar approaches are not employed.

Keywords

  • Climate Urbanism
  • Pandemic
  • Urban design
  • Vulnerability
  • Communities
  • Inequality
  • Green gentrification

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-96866-3_13
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Fig. 13.1
Fig. 13.2
Fig. 13.3
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Fig. 13.5

Notes

  1. 1.

    The BA Designing Cities course page: https://www.westminster.ac.uk/architecture-interiors-and-urban-design-courses/2021-22/september/full-time/designing-cities-planning-and-architecture-ba-honours and its related blog: http://blog.westminster.ac.uk/designingcities/

  2. 2.

    Quoted from the Studio brief distributed to students at the beginning of the semester in early 2021.

  3. 3.

    For more information about the River Lea Park: https://www.queenelizabetholympicpark.co.uk/the-park/venues/parklands-and-playgrounds/waterways-and-rivers/lea-river-park

  4. 4.

    For more information about COP26: https://ukcop26.org

  5. 5.

    For more information about Save the Lea Marches: https://www.saveleamarshes.org.uk

  6. 6.

    For more information about the architectural and urbanism practice fifth Studio https://www.5thstudio.co.uk

  7. 7.

    The video was prepared by 5 students over the summer 2021 to be presented at the Youth 4 Climate ILAUD event in Milan on the 28th September 2021.

  8. 8.

    For more information about Cody Dock: https://codydock.org.uk

  9. 9.

    For more information about Trinity Buoy Wharf: https://www.trinitybuoywharf.com

  10. 10.

    For more information about the residential-led scheme of Limmo Peninsula: https://limmopeninsula.co.uk

  11. 11.

    For more information about Leven Road Gaswork regeneration project: http://www.levenroadgasworks.co.uk

  12. 12.

    See: https://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/lgnl/environment_and_waste/Sustainability/Climate_emergency.aspx

  13. 13.

    For more information about Channelsea Island: https://canoelondon.com/exploring-londons-channelsea-river/

  14. 14.

    For more information about the Canal and River Trust: https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/about-us

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Correspondence to Giulio Verdini .

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Verdini, G., Dean, C. (2022). Climate Urbanism in the Post-pandemic World: Mapping Vulnerabilities and Exploring Community Activism in East London. In: Giorgi, E., Cattaneo, T., Flores Herrera, A.M., Aceves Tarango, V.d.S. (eds) Design for Vulnerable Communities. The Urban Book Series. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-96866-3_13

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