Al-Jalil Gault

MIT Department: Urban Studies and Planning

Undergraduate Institution: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Faculty Mentor: Alan M. Berger

Research Supervisors: Jonah Susskind

Websites: Personal Website, LinkedIn

2018 Research Poster


My name is Al-Jalil Gault, and I’m from Chicago, IL. I’m currently an Architecture student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. I’m interested in engaging in critical research and discourse concerning urban places. I believe that, as we develop and analyze large-scale information systems throughout cities, we can reveal particular occurrences that ought to inform how we, as an interdisciplinary team of architects, planners, and innovators, can better design, organize, and politicize urban places. I hope to eventually lead an interdisciplinary research firm, committed to advancing the condition of architecture and cities. My hobbies include making new friends, going on adventures, enjoying house music, and appreciating Arts & Culture.

2018 Research Abstract

Resilience Districts

Al-Jalil Gault, Jonah Susskind, Alan Berger

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Urban Studies and Planning

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), School of Architecture

Projected sea-level rise due to climate change poses an imminent threat to vital economic assets, social & physical infrastructures, and vulnerable communities in coastal cities around the world. These cities have an urgent obligation to develop resilience strategies that can adequately decrease risk across a wide range of urban scales, systems, processes, and populations. The MIT Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism has established the Resilience District framework as a set of performance-based planning and design strategies, intended to prepare coastal cities for such long-term climate adaptation. Resilience strategies at the district scale divide the larger challenge of creating resilient cities into a more manageable process. Through drawing, geospatial analysis, and literature review, the current investigation establishes a theory for how Boston’s urban districts are spatialized & regulated, and then uses these findings to enhance the Resilience District framework. Key factors of how districts are spatialized & regulated were found to include: Time & Access, Distance & Distribution, Flexibility & Delegation, and Performance & Oversight. This work may serve as a model for how to use districting in coastal cities to influence policy, socio-political engagement, and architecture as a resilience strategy.