FIRE RESILIENT RESIDENTIAL COMMUNITIES: REDESIGNING WUIS FOR FIRE RESILIENCY

Student Name: Nickson Chan, Jean-Paul Previero

School: University of California, Los Angeles

Studio: Fire City: Towards Regenerative Urbanism

Instructor: Hitoshi Abe

ECOLOGY DIAGRAM

The chronology of Californian wildfires proves that there is plenty of room for potential improvements in mitigating damages and enhancing fire resilience of local residential communities in the wildland-urban interfaces. In the proposed Fire Resilient Residential Communities, the three major counter-disaster strategies are landscape management focusing on adequate fire separations in between houses, community design for neighbors’ connection and the emergency response during a disaster, and also fire resilient technologies to minimize the spread and impact in case of wildfires. As a reformulation of Jack Cohen’s home ignition zone principles, having multiple houses in proximity would merge the intermediate fire separation zones and create special conditions at the intersections, which would provide architectural opportunities for enhancing the local community network and thus fire resiliency. Overall ecology would include four aspects, Community, Safety, Multi-Scale, and Ownership, and they are all closely related to the shared ground in between residential houses where a restoration of the local landscape would tie the community together and facilitate the changing lifestyles of modern working and living.

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AERIAL VIEW DIAGRAM

Disaster is a crisis that we have to protect ourselves from, as well as an opportunity to recognize the shortcomings and avoid future damages. Regenerative Urbanism to us is the envisioning of a strong synergy between community engagement and policy implementation, which would be strengthened through learning from each disaster. Post-disaster organization should serve as an opportunity to apply good case practice on collaboration between the government, community groups, and designers. The chronology of Californian wildfires proves that there is plenty of room for potential improvements in mitigating damages and enhancing fire resilience of local residential communities, which are addressed in our research focusing on the Tubbs Fire as well as wildland-urban interfaces neighborhood in California.

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SITE PLAN OF THE COMMUNITY

More than a quarter of Californian population lives in wildland-urban interfaces (WUI), and the number of WUI houses has grown rapidly, by 62% in the last two decades. One-third of those households include people who are more vulnerable to disasters, including such as someone aged 65 or older or living below the poverty line. Therefore there is an urgent and huge challenge in addressing the disaster risks in WUI and enhancing fire resilience for the affected residential communities.

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DIAGRAM

In the proposed Fire Resilient Residential Communities, the three major counter-disaster strategies are landscape management focusing on adequate fire separations in between houses, community design for neighbors’ connection and the emergency response during a disaster, and also fire resilient technologies to minimize the spread and impact in case of wildfires. As a reformulation of Jack Cohen’s home ignition zone principles, having multiple houses in proximity would merge the intermediate fire separation zones and create special conditions at the intersections, which would provide architectural opportunities for enhancing the local community network and thus fire resiliency.

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PERSPECTIVE VIEW OF THE COMMUNITY
PERSPECTIVE VIEW OF THE COMMUNITY

The proposed shared ground in between residential houses would not only be a place that allows for dense vegetation and a restoration of the local landscape, it would also be a space for tieing the community together. Overall ecology would include four aspects: Community, Safety, Multi-Scale, and Ownership, and they are all closely related to the plan strategy as derived from the home ignition zone theory. In the post-pandemic era, the safe communal space in each residential community would also facilitate the changing lifestyles of modern working and living.

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AERIAL VIEW OF THE COMMUNITY
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SECTION PERSPECTIVE