Staying in Place: Designing for Community Resilience

Course Instructors

Julie Johnson
Rachel Berney

Course Date

Winter 2018

Course Type

Built Environment Studio
Graduate and Undergraduate

Course Description

Looking to a future where climate change, natural disasters, rapid economic growth and/or economic uncertainty continue to destabilize settlement patterns in communities and regions, this studio focuses on urban design and planning strategies to address community resilience—and the ability to stay in place—in response to threat of displacement, migration, and natural disaster.

The studio and seminar were framed to engage students in concepts of resilience across different scales and through outreach with community members and others. The concept of ‘staying in place’ expresses a response to catastrophic events as well as a claim to one’s local community. Drawing upon this duality, we investigated design for community resilience at the Mount Baker Light Rail Station Area. The development of this light rail station, SDOT’s strategies for “Accessible Mount Baker”, and other emerging initiatives provided a robust foundation.

The studio and seminar focused on defining dimensions of community resilience to support “staying in place”. Working with local stakeholders, we drew from relevant theory and precedents to propose opportunities within and beyond the neighborhood in the context of current planning initiatives, anticipated development opportunities, and potential upheavals to existing systems.

Learn more about this studio on the project website: