Open Course: Advanced Studio IV – Designing for Resilience



Adriana Chávez and Victor Rico of Oficina de Resiliencia Urbana give a guest lecture to the Advanced IV Architecture Studio at Columbia GSAPP lead by Ziad Jamaleddine on Wednesday, April 3rd, 2020.

ORU – Oficina de Resiliencia Urbana (Office for Urban Resilience) is a Mexico City based urban design and applied research practice that has specialized in resilience and climate-sensitive landscape infrastructures. ORU is formed by a team with more than ten years of experience in the academic, public and private sectors, as well as in various multilateral organizations. The office explores the possibility of an urban-environmental integration at different scales within multiple social, economic and political contexts. ORU works from a collaborative approach, teaming up with the most experienced professionals in multiple fields of knowledge to effectively connect the most pressing needs of the global urban regions with the best available solutions.

ORU has led and implemented projects that have successfully contributed to the improvement of cities. ORU is recognized by studies such as ‘Towards a Water-Sensitive Mexico City: Public Space as a Strategy for Managing Rainwater’, which has contributed to positioning public space-as-infrastructure at the top of Mexico City’s urban agenda, and has inspired other cities to develop similar research. ORU’s recent work ranges from research to architectural and landscape design strategies. Another innovative research project is ‘Medium – scale Redevelopment Districts as a Model for Sustainable Water Management in Mexico City: The Case of Tacubaya’. The ‘Hydric District’, is an implementable urban component, and framework, that will serve to test alternative physical models of decentralized urban water management. The research is being developed in collaboration with Anita Berrizbeitia with the support of the Mexico Innovation Fund Grants from the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University.

ORU has also participated in projects such as Bogota’s Environmental Circuit, a project for the Mayor’s Office of Bogotá that seeks to integrate city and nature through public policy and design. Finally, the firm also focuses on public space design integrating climate-sensitive design such as their project “Garden of shadows”, for cities in the Mexican desert, developed for the Urban Improvement Program for the Ministry of Agrarian, Territorial and Urban Development (SEDATU) in Mexico.

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