I am currently undergoing my fifth and final year of education in architecture at the University of Huddersfield. As part of my final year, part II investigations I am writing a dissertation on the role of architecture in response to natural disasters.
Through secondary research I have been especially interested in the contributions architecture can have on a devastated society after such tragic events. I am particularly interested in investigating the effects the reconstruction can have on environmental, physical, social, economical and political factors.
It would be of great help to my investigations and knowledge if you could possibly provide me with, or forward me to any insights of experiences, problems and successes encountered with your involvement with such projects.
good sample of post-disaster approach ,is the reconstruction of Kobe in Japan after the earthquake ;known as the Great Hanshin earthquake occurred on January 17, 1995.
i understand this is not a natural calamity, but in the days shortly after the september 11 attack on the world trade center, 'normal operations' were somehow reinstated, and i wish i can remember the webnews agency that announced this.
but what i'm trying to suggest is that this technique may be provided for facilities (e.g., utilities) to make them ready even before the onset of a natural disaster such as an earthquake.
James, The problem with most post-disaster design, is that the urgency to rehouse people comes before designs which may help to lessen the effects of a similar disaster in the future.
Here I am thinking of both earthquakes and floods. For earthquakes, the post-disaster rebuild should include more earthquake resistant housing and for floods, the post-disaster rebuild should either include raised banks to enclose housing areas or housing placed upon higher ground, or a mixture of both approaches.
Frank John Snelling
hi James. perhaps you could also investigate the correlation between municipal funding vis-a-vis natural disasters... and i refer to the various attitudes that go with the two which shape the making of policies and practice of governance. : )
hello there James...yes as Frank said earlier..there is a need for better design of buildings and the surrounding environment to counter the natural disasters and to be better prepared to face the same activity again...I have built in earthquake disaster zones..and tsunami effected areas and most of the people there do want a better life...but the authorities who are distanced from the locations are just after a quick fix it job..and that is not good..perhaps we can influence a change for the better thru this discussion...
all the best..and I hope to hear more from others out there...
David Michael James Davies
As an engineer with some sense for architecture, I experienced the following problem in post dissaster reconstructions:
Engineers often do not understand, what beneficiaries need.
Architects (and some engineers) do often not care much about structural safety.
For the design, loacal practice in rural eareas reflected the requirements of the users, so it is good to take their old buildings as examples. They are normally also well adapted to the climate.
For earthquake safety, the state of the art for sipmle non engineered housing seem to me the IAEE guidelines.( www.iaee.or.jp)
However it would be good to have more of improved traditional construction in addition.
Often there is only one person with a background in the building field, so experts hav to look carefully in the missing of the two field of experience.