Theme: After Great Disasters: Managing Community Recovery
Date: June 15, 2017
Venue: Room 302, School of Public Policy & Management, Tsinghua Universit
Speaker: Prof. Robert B. Olshansky, Professor, Head of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, FAICP
Moderator: Dr. Lu Xiaoli, Assistant Professor, School of Public Management and Management; Associate Director, Center for Crisis Management Research, Tsinghua University
Discussant: Prof. Zhang Qiang, Associate Professor, Associate Dean, School of Social Development and Public Policy, Beijing Normal University.
The aftermath of great natural disasters and the management of the recovery process impact the lives of citizens and can change the future of a city or region forever. Post-disaster reconstruction can offer opportunities to fix long-standing problems: to improve construction and design standards, renew infrastructure, create new land-use arrangements, reinvent economies, and improve governance. This presentation highlights his new book, which identifies lessons from different parts of the world to help communities and government leaders better organize for recovery after disasters. The book distills lessons from six countries that have faced significant disaster recovery challenges and employed different management approaches. A set of recommendations provides guidance to governments faced with the challenges of recovering from a large disaster. The recommendations reflect a common set of core principles: primacy of information, stakeholder involvement, and transparency. If done well, reconstruction can help break the cycle of disaster-related impacts and losses, and improve the resilience of a city or region.
Robert B. Olshansky, Ph.D., FAICP, is Professor and Head of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His teaching and research cover land use and environmental planning, with an emphasis on planning for natural hazards. Professor Olshansky has studied recovery planning and management after numerous major disasters around the world, including ones in the U.S., Japan, China, Taiwan, India, Indonesia, and Haiti. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, and in 2004-05 and 2012-13 he was a Visiting Professor at the Disaster Prevention Research Institute at Kyoto University. Along with Laurie Johnson he co-authored Opportunity in Chaos: Rebuilding after the 1994 Northridge and 1995 Kobe Earthquakes (available online), Clear as Mud: Planning for the Rebuilding of New Orleans (APA Press, 2010), and After Great Disasters: How Six Countries Managed Community Recovery (Lincoln Institute, 2017). In 2014 he co-edited a special issue of the Journal of the American Planning Association on Planning for Disaster Recovery.
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