Countless cities and regions are threatened by natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis or hurricanes. Presentation of the pre-final projects, booklets and brochures developed in the Urban Disaster seminar during the Summer semester SoSe 2020.

The preconditions for these cities to deal with such catastrophes – including climate, resources and the socio-economic status quo – are just as varied as the forms and extent of the destruction. Sustainable urban design is key to managing these communities in an environmentally sound, economically robust, and socially responsible manner. An important strategy for the disaster resilience of cities and for the subsequent restoration of urban life is the organization of urban planning measures: protective and evacuation buildings, zoning of risk areas or the reorganization of entire cities. How can we design cities, and buildings that survive, thrive, and contribute a positive environmental impact?

The seminar focused on disaster preparedness, resilience and reduction as well as strategies to reconstruct the built environment in preparation for future disasters. Students gained an understanding of issues in disaster prone areas and acquired theoretical knowledge on disaster resilience and reconstruction, as well as exploring case studies, among others, from Japan, USA, Italy and Mexico.

The Urban Disaster Seminar was part of the first digital online semester format developed at the Institute for Sustainable Urbanism.

Teaching team: Prof. Dr. Vanessa Miriam Carlow, Aleksandra Shekutkovska Dokoska, Ryan Zeringue

Students: Barbosa Martins Luiza, Chelly Jihane, Ebrahim Gulishan, El-Ashi Nadine, Faccioli Lukas, Ferrà Escrivà Estefania, Gabka Caroline, Goldlücke Aurelia, Hecher Marlon, Kolgu Harun, Kossack Marlene, Taoube Abir

Case study and design proposal: Flash Floods, Mexico, Students: Ferrà Escrivà Estefania, Gabka Caroline



Case study and design proposal: Tzunami, Rikuzentakata, Japan, Students: Goldlücke Aurelia,  Kossack Marlene






Case study and design proposal: Tornado, Texas, Students: Chelly Jihane, Ebrahim Gulishan




Case study and design proposal: Earthquake, L’Aquila, Italy, Students: Kolgu Harun, Taoube Abir


Case study and design proposal: Hurricane, New Orleans, Students: Barbosa Martins Luiza, Faccioli Lukas


Case study and design proposal: Camp Fire Wildfire, California, Students: El-Ashi Nadine, Hecher Marlon