The Role of Low-Cost Housing in the Path from Vulnerability to Resilience
journal article

It is well known that low-cost housing not only reflects, but also greatly influences the vulnerability of a community. This means that post-disaster housing programs can improve the living conditions of affected families or make them even more vulnerable. However, it is still unclear how different post-disaster housing strategies enhance community resilience.

This article seeks to bridge the theoretical gap that exists between vulnerability and resilience theories and to clarify how post-disaster housing programs can potentially enhance community resilience. Four different housing strategies used after the 2003 earthquake in Bam, Iran, illustrate the role of housing in the path that can potentially lead communities from a vulnerable state to resilience. These strategies include: (A) Prefabricated units built on temporary camps located in the city and in the outskirts and developed by the central government, (B) Masonry units built by a public stakeholder on the yards of destroyed houses (C) Prefabricated units built by the central government in partnership with a private firm and located in the yards of destroyed houses, and (D) Hightech imported units built on the outskirts of the city. Analysing these strategies through the lens of a new framework based on a systems approach permits to identify the different impacts of post-disaster housing programs. Whereas strategies A, C and D had negative consequences in various sub-systems of the affected community, strategy B positively enhanced community resilience. The findings of the study provide insightful information that can help architects and decision-makers identify the appropriate housing strategy to be implemented after disasters.


Fayazi, Mahmood and Gonzalo Lizarralde. "The Role of Low-Cost Housing in the Path from Vulnerability to Resilience." ArchNet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, vol. 7, issue 3 (2013): 146-167.

Parent Publications

Mahmood Fayazi and Gonzalo Lizarralde

Building Usages