Jason von Meding, Jamie Mackee, Thayaparan Gajendran

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.26687/archnet-ijar.v7i3.45


It is with great pleasure that we would like to introduce this special issue of IJAR, a compilation of cutting-edge research that covers many of the key themes relevant to built environment researchers in disaster-related areas. This knowledge area is by its very nature absolutely multidisciplinary and for this reason it is difficult to quantify built environment impacts, drivers and outcomes in isolation and disaggregate them from non-built environment factors. However, regardless of certain limitations to research carried out from a built environment perspective, as would be the case from any specific disciplinary perspective, a significant body of work has emerged and is constantly growing and evolving in parallel with the research agenda. Built environment researchers around the globe are now, more than ever, exploring various problems that threaten humanity in the way of dire vulnerability and more frequent and powerful hazards. This collection of papers will look specifically at one area of disaster management, postdisaster reconstruction. Reconstruction projects primarily occur during the recovery phase of the disaster cycle, playing a key role in bringing vulnerable communities back to normalcy, integrating disaster risk reduction and preparedness measures to increase resilience to future hazard events.

The special issue is broken into four thematic areas; Context and Culture, Theory, Resilience and Risk Reduction and Design. The three papers in Section 1- Context and Culture deal with the impacts of disasters on places and the people that inhabit them, investigating the extent to which reconstruction projects can address social and cultural problems. Meanwhile, the two papers in Section 2- Theory put forward new theoretical perspectives with regards to stakeholder engagement and management, representing the growth of alternative points of departure in this area. The three papers in Section 3- Resilience and Risk Reduction explore various approaches to building in targeted measures to reconstruction projects that enhance risk reduction and resilience outcomes for communities. Finally, the two papers in Section 4- Design are concerned with the delivery of low-cost sustainable housing solutions and the decisions that are made, leading implementing actors to certain shelter approaches.

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