Building Resilient Settlements

Subject ABPL90320 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2012.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours
Total Time Commitment:

120 hours


Admission into any of the following courses:

MC-ARCH2Y Master of Architecture (200 points)
MC-ARCH3Y Master of Architecture (300 points)
MC-LARCH2YMaster of Landscape Architecture (200 points)
MC-LARCH3Y Master of Landscape Architecture (300 points)
MC-CONMG2Y Master of Construction Management (200 points)
MC-CONMG3Y Master of Construction Management (300 points)
MC-PROP2Y Master of Property (200 points)
MC-PROP3Y Master of Property (300 points)
MC-URPL Master of Urban Planning
234AA Master of Design
234AH Master of Design (Heritage)

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

This is a studio based subject and non-design students (urban planning, property and construction students) are encouraged to take this subject, but will be expected to work in groups on design/planning projects. The projects will be supported by a series of lectures, seminar discussions and required readings. Students should have an interest in issues concerned with sustainability and the sustainable development of urban settlements.

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.
The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Environments and Design Student Centre
Ground Floor, Baldwin Spencer (building 113)

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Subject Overview:

This subject explores the notion of resilience and its application to the planning, design and management of urban settlements at various scales. The notion of resilience is related to the capacity of systems to adapt to disruptions without them changing to entirely different states, which in the case of human settlements often results in catastrophic consequences for the inhabitants. The subject will explore approaches for enhancing existing settlements, as well as creating new ones, to be better prepared to confront future environmental changes, both predicted and unpredicted, as they occur, with a focus on changes associated with climate change, such as increasing intensity and frequency of extreme weather events, as well as more gradual changes, such as rising sea levels. Students will explore ways of decreasing the vulnerability of urban settlements to these types of risks and while at the same time creating low carbon settlements through planning and design interventions. Students within the various disciplines represented in the Faulty - urban planning, architecture, landscape architecture, property and construction – will find this subject useful as it will provide both theoretical understanding and practical application of concepts associated with the notion of resilience and ways of encouraging a well-planned transformation to a low carbon society. Students will work collaboratively across the built environment disciplines in researching, and applying the results of their research within the context of studio-based assignments, to demonstrate how urban environments can be made to be more resilient in the face of future changes.

  • To encourage students to identify and engage critically with issues associated with making human settlements more resilient in the face of both predicted and unpredicted environmental change.
  • To stimulate creative thinking and problem solving through the application of planning, design and construction processes with regard to creating resilient human settlements with the aim of protecting communities to various types of environmental changes and associated risks.
  • Design Proposal (10%) due in week 4 (equivalent of 500 words)
  • Preliminary design/planning concepts (30%) due in week 6 (equivalent of 2000 words)
  • Final design/planning proposal (60%) due in week 12 (equivalent 2500 words)
Prescribed Texts:

Walker, B. and Salt, D. (2006), Resilience Thinking: Sustaining ecosystems and people in a changing world, Washington DC: Island Press.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • Interdisciplinary teamwork
  • Environmental planning and design
  • Organisational collaboration
  • Managing risk
Related Course(s): Master of Urban Planning

Download PDF version.