Skip to main content
main-content

Über dieses Buch

This book discusses that disasters, whether natural or man-made, are essentially a human phenomenon. When a city becomes gridlocked and its resources depleted, the collective resilience of those who remain on the ground becomes critical to its immediate survival and recovery. The author argues that in order to build resilient futures for our urban environment, we need more than the skills of architects, engineers, and planners. Support of local communities and policymakers is also needed.

The book revisits the recent catastrophic events: the earthquakes in Port-au-Prince and Christchurch, and the hurricane in New Orleans, and places emphasis on the social, cultural, and political processes of rebuilding houses, facilities, and infrastructure that often go unnoticed. Understanding the wider context for how a built project comes to be, the author argues, is a solid indicator of its longevity than by the measure of its material characteristics alone, and gives us reasons to question the validity of our intentions as designers of the future. This book provides strategies for thinking about, assessing, and developing ways for place-makers from all disciplines to become responsible citizen designers of our cities.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Understanding Resilience

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Design Advocacy

Abstract
Design, within the context of architecture, is analogous with conceptualization of the ‘big idea’—an ‘A-ha’ moment—that which triggers a creative activity. Design is also considered a process: as communication medium for bringing together disparate variables that eventually converge on a unified situation or context. The paradoxical goal of design is to espouse universal understanding that leaves little room for misunderstanding its intentions while remaining conducive to multiple interpretations. Whichever the case, the design journey encompasses countless revisions, adjustments, and modifications along the way, but rarely is design considered a failure. Most designers eschew failure, because design failure is the very antithesis of the profession’s objective. In theory, any designed element presented as an end-product has survived the rigors of innumerable tests and of trial and error to eliminate potential redundancies that could result in failures. Failures, in other words, conceded that design has fallen shorts of its intents.
Alexandra Jayeun Lee

Chapter 2. Systems Thinking

Abstract
How architects have come to be largely absent in disaster recovery activities compared to some of the other sectors in the medical, the legal, and even the engineering fields can, in part, be explained by how architects have responded to industrialization, which transformed how cities developed.
Alexandra Jayeun Lee

Chapter 3. Paradoxes of Building Back Better

Abstract
The spectacle of a disaster produces an outpouring of event-specific neologisms that can also impede effective communication across its many stakeholders. This presents multiple problems where recovery efforts require coordination of multiple stakeholders.
Alexandra Jayeun Lee

Resilient Tactics and Strategies

Frontmatter

Chapter 4. Haiti: NGO’s Republic

Abstract
Images of the collapsed presidential palace circulating amongst the world media suggested the chaos within the Government of Haiti, but the dysfunctional characteristic of the Haitian government preexisted the earthquake since its establishment as the republic in 1805. The administrative remnants of the 2010 earthquake is but a byproduct of many years of economic and political turbulence which precipitated in erosion of trust in government by Haitians themselves, disengaging them further. The phenomenon of “10,000 NGOs” had outgrown the influence of the Government of Haiti long before the disaster. The complexity of Haiti’s social, cultural, environmental, and political dimensions reveal that the physical realities of disaster and the construction of “the Republic of NGOs” are closely interconnected, yet contradicts the aspirations of “Build Back Better Communities” international design campaign. Nevertheless, the earthquake served as a turning point for humanitarian aid agencies in that the international media limelight and subsequent influx of talented disaster professionals have galvanized both the international aid sector as well as those in the community sector whom elect to engage with these international agencies.
Alexandra Jayeun Lee

Chapter 5. Katrina: Collective Resistance

Abstract
Reconstruction of urban cities necessarily involves politics. This chapter evaluates how various disaster recovery actors across different sectors negotiate disaster politics.
Alexandra Jayeun Lee

Chapter 6. Christchurch: Going Grassroots

Abstract
Historically, the architectural profession rose out of the impulse to distinguish the learned master craftsman from ordinary builders, reserving their skills for the exclusive use by the elite, design patrons. Put differently, the profession of architecture exists due to the culture of patronage. However, the definition of patronage and what is considered elite are both challenged in disaster contexts. The scope of recovery expands architectural patrons to include entire communities, and elitism is subject to debate depending on where the power of decision-making lies. We have already seen in the previous two chapters how architects have adapted to an increasingly complex reality of urban disasters.
Alexandra Jayeun Lee

Chapter 7. Conclusion

Abstract
As society is becoming more urbanized, the risk of human exposure to disasters is also rising. The nature of societal problems following an urban disaster involves input by professionals from multiple fields—including economics, sociology, medicine, and engineering—but the contribution from architecture has been minimal to date.
Alexandra Jayeun Lee

Backmatter

Weitere Informationen