Major natural disasters are rare, but their aftermath can change the fortunes of a city or region forever. This book and its companion Policy Focus Report (co-authored with Laurie Johnson) identify lessons from different parts of the world to help communities and government leaders better organize for recovery after future disasters. The authors consider the processes and outcomes of community recovery and reconstruction following major disasters in six countries: China, New Zealand, India, Indonesia, Japan, and the United States. Post-disaster reconstruction offers opportunities to improve construction and design standards, renew infrastructure, create new land use arrangements, reinvent economies, and improve governance. If done well, reconstruction can help break the cycle of disaster-related impacts and losses, and improve the resilience of a city or region.
About Robert Olshansky: Robert B. Olshansky, Ph.D., FAICP, is Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 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: An In-depth Analysis of How Six Countries Managed Community Recovery (Lincoln Institute, 2017). He is also the editor of Urban Planning after Disasters (4 volumes) (Routledge, 2016), and 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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