Hydrological Urban City


A Resilient Approach for Flooding


Alessandra Fabbri (M.Arch. with Distinction)

Jose Garcia Gallardo (M.Arch. with Distinction)

Alessandra Lazzoni (M.Arch. with Distinction)

Suhash Patel (M.Arch. with Distinction)

2013 – 14


The urban development of a high-density settlement facing pluvial and fluvial flooding is addressed in the present dissertation. A resilient design approach is investigated through the generation, analysis and evaluation of a hydrological system. By allowing, controlling storing and redistributing the water flood through topography and built, the aim is the achievement of a subsistent co-integration between high-density urban and natural systems.

The process explores five equally important sub-systems: Hydrological Network, Topography, Density | Programme Distribution, Urban Network and Block Morphology. Their concurrent action represents the base structure of the hydrological system and of the design approach. Innovative methods are adopted to generate, extract and employ spatial and organisational logics, further adopted in the computational design process.

The parallel development of the five co-dependent sub-systems is first deepened topologically and then geographically. From the geographical model, spatial hierarchies and water physical behaviours are referenced. Although investigated in parallel, the five sub-systems adaptively operate as integrated parts of the hydrological system. Therefore, they inform and receive information among them as long as they evolve. After defining the location and required volume of water on-site (Hydrological Network), the pre-existent flat topography is manipulated according to the water management ambition (Topography). In parallel, a high-density distribution is generated, strictly depending on the water position and volume allowed in site (Density | Programme Distribution). Loopback processes are used to optimize the system performance. Simultaneously, the social logic of space is investigated. By infrastructure and blocks co-generation (Urban Network and Block Morphology), the settlement arises and dynamic social spaces with it.

The aimed intelligence of the system would be its capacity to refer to local settings, but without being constrained to an individual urban scenario.