Post-Disaster Reconstruction and Change: Communities Perspectives


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We're committed to providing low prices every day, on everything. Kitagawa continued by discussing how the introduction of these principles, particularly that concerning environmental knowledge, prompted changes in how people conceptualized their socio—ecological relationships.

In Kagoshima, calls for people to become more knowledgeable about their environment and its hazards underpinned the development of the construct of kyozon [ 21 ]. This construct describes a mechanism that facilitates socio—ecological co-existence with the implications of the frequently erupting Sakurajima volcano. The development of this construct enabled reconciling the socio—environmental costs and benefits arising from living adjacent to a highly active volcano [ 21 ].

This opens the discussion to considering the potential for changing socio—ecological beliefs and actions. This is reinforced by comparison between western views and the more ecocentric perspectives adopted by Indigenous peoples and those in many Asian countries [ 42 ]. Other emergent co-existence strategies are evident elsewhere in Japan. In Japan, the Machizukuri community led place-making with care construct e.

This empowers people to reconcile social, environmental and DRR goals [ 48 ]. Machizukuri is also influential in reconciling the needs and goals of diverse stakeholders in ways that culminate in their developing novel, inclusive disaster recovery initiatives [ 22 ]. The Machizukuri process operates in a comparable way to the scenario planning technique introduced below. This offers support for the potential of scenario planning to play a role in DRR e.

In Indonesia, the socio—cultural construct of Palemahan identifies the important role positive relationships between people and their natural world play in DRR [ 49 ]. In Chinese culture, beliefs regarding the maintenance of harmonious co-existence relationships between people and nature is a fundamental tenet of Confucian ethics.

Similar findings have emerged in research with Indigenous peoples [ 42 ]. These examples illustrate how an ecocentric conceptualization of socio—environmental—hazard interdependencies can mobilize collective stakeholder DRR actions that reconcile environmental costs from hazardous events and benefits taking advantage of environmental opportunities and amenities. Transforming western anthropocentrism into a more ecocentric conceptualization of socio—environmental—hazard relationships could thus contribute to developing more effective and sustainable DRR outcomes [ 8 , 11 , 40 , 41 , 42 ].

Thus, DRR processes will benefit from people having a better understanding of how their relationship with their environment affects their risk [ 41 ].

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This improved understanding, in turn, can lay a foundation for more effective socio-environmental preparedness [ 10 ]. More comprehensive socio-environmental understanding can facilitate citizen appreciation of the need to prepare to confront hazard activity from sources they have not previously had to deal with. This last point introduces the next sub-section. The authors have been involved in several projects investigating preparedness in communities where the hazards people are being encouraged to prepare for are very infrequent.

For example, in Australia, this includes encouraging community tsunami and earthquake risk acceptance in states e.

Post-Disaster Reconstruction and Change

A significant issue in this context is the fact that the low return periods of earthquake and tsunami hazards in Australia means that the risk posed by these hazards is either denied or under-appreciated. This acts as a significant impediment to preparedness that cannot be overcome using traditional risk communication.

Transformative change is required to provide a more neutral starting point for DRR for these events [ 55 ]. Changes in hazard-scapes will occur in many locations as a result of climate change, increasing the international benefits that could accrue from including a transformative perspective in DRR planning. Another example of the benefit of including a transformative component in DRR derives from finding that some citizens acknowledge their risk, they nonetheless decide not to prepare for the hazards from which the risk is sourced.

Most of the practical work on preparedness assumes that people are predisposed to prepare and that identifying and applying strategies derived from its theoretical antecedents will automatically increase preparedness over time. However, as several authors discuss, this assumption can only be partially justified [ 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 7 , 43 , 57 , 58 ]. One reason for this is that some people decide not to prepare [ 2 , 43 , 59 ]. Indeed, the numbers of people deciding not to prepare may be substantial.

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This study identified how the cognitive biases of unrealistic optimism and risk compensation [ 40 , 60 ] underpinned people forming intentions to do nothing see below. If these statistics are extrapolated to the population at large, the number of non-preparers could run into hundreds of thousands of Aucklanders.

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This increases the risk faced by a substantial number of people and it will, when an eruption occurs, place additional, but potentially avoidable, demands on recovery resources and agencies. This is not the only data from governmental sources identifying non preparedness. The hazard literature includes several factors that assist understanding why some people decide not to prepare. In the McIvor et al.


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In contrast, non-preparers did not believe that preparedness could enhance their safety, felt no or little sense of attachment to where they lived, had little sense of social responsibility to others, and believed that insurance would cover any losses incurred. The evident differences between preparers and non-preparers means that traditional preparedness strategies are more likely to fail for those people and, as the above data suggest, this could be a substantial number whose underlying beliefs do not support preparedness as a DRR option.

Rather, they are separate processes and need to be managed as such in DRR strategies [ 43 , 64 ]. This process can capitalize on some of lessons learned from the analysis of transformation in post-disaster settings. The analyses of the cases in Kagoshima, Simeulue, Ho—Ping, Christchurch and Tasmania [ 1 , 12 , 21 , 23 , 28 ] provided evidence that transformation was a social process. That is, the relationship between a disaster the catalyst and new, transformative ways of thinking and acting was mediated by social factors such as community leadership, active community participation, collective efficacy, sense of community, social identity and trust see above.

Parallels between the mediating process identified in disaster-related transformation and those in theories of pre-event preparedness are evident [ 11 , 43 , 66 , 67 , 68 ]. This provides tentative support for building on preparedness theories to develop models of transformative change. However, it should be noted that factors such as a catalyst for change and key drivers of transformation such as community leadership need to be included and given a more pivotal role in a model of transformative change.

The role of leadership will be discussed later. First, if a transformative element is to be introduced into DRR, what is needed is a strategic process that challenges pre-existing beliefs and does so in ways that motivates change in most or all stakeholders. This represents a trigger or catalyst that functions to call the prevailing status quo into question in a way that is seen as challenging by all or most of those affected and that draws attention to a need for new ways of thinking and acting [ 69 ].

In the cases discussed above, the provocation or catalyst for transformation was a disaster. If transformative change is to occur in pre-event DRR settings, a catalyst or provocation capable of motivating new ways of collective thinking and acting is required [ 69 , 70 , 71 ]. The challenge for DRR is how to create this. This paper discusses one approach to doing so. This involves first encouraging conflict by mobilizing the diverse knowledges, beliefs, goals and relationships that exist within neighborhood and community groups to increase the range of issues and needs brought to public awareness.

Then the strategy must channel the conflict that arises from this mobilization in ways that create a framework for transformation that encompasses the needs and goals of, as far as possible, all stakeholders. First, the foundation for mobilizing shifts in this and action is illustrated using Faultline Theory [ 25 , 71 ]. Despite its name, Faultline Theory has nothing to do with seismic processes.

It describes how fundamental differences in community members beliefs and attitudes e. However, if an external condition elevates the relative salience of the different beliefs that exist within a group, this triggers intra-group conflict [ 25 , 70 , 71 , 72 ]. For example, Paton and Buergelt [ 70 ] discussed how a neighborhood at-risk from wildfire hazards comprised people with different underlying beliefs. Some held relatively strong environmental beliefs. Others placed relatively higher value on household safety. Under normal conditions, these diverse beliefs were benign; the different beliefs had no bearing on the quality of relationships between neighbors.

However, government calls for property vegetation clearing changed this. This external condition acted as a catalyst that brought different beliefs to the surface of everyday social interaction and resulted in these beliefs acting to adversely affect neighbor relationships. For instance, those valuing environmental protection opposed to vegetation clearing over safety found themselves in often significant conflict with those who valued household safety supporting vegetation clearing over environmental protection.

However, if this conflict is actively managed within a DRR program, this kind of attitude mobilization can act as a catalyst to facilitate transformation [ 71 ]. For example, deliberately mobilizing the respective beliefs of those valuing environmental protection and those valuing household safety in a public debate could create a context in which people become aware of a need to accommodate both in new conceptualizations of comprehensive community-based DRR activities.

For this to occur in practice, a method for managing functional conflict and constrictively facilitating reconciliation of diverse needs is required. This calls for the inclusion in DRR strategies of a mechanism that affords people opportunities to appreciate both how the beliefs and goals of all stakeholders are important and why they need to be integrated to generate new ways of thinking and acting that are beneficial for all stakeholders in DRR.

That is, the process must generate a context in which residents can collaborate to co-create outcomes that are relevant for all stakeholders [ 73 , 74 ]. The earlier discussion of Machizukuri introduced how social processes are capable of successfully eliciting the views and goals of diverse stakeholders and reconciling them in ways that create novel and inclusive environmental beliefs, goals and actions.

In the next section, the paper introduces scenario planning as a way of achieving comparable outcomes. Scenario planning describes a method for facilitating planning in contexts where multiple stakeholders collaborate to confront external circumstances that are complex, dynamic and involve considerable uncertainty [ 26 , 70 , 75 , 76 ]. Scenario planning thus creates a super-ordinate context for developing new DRR beliefs and practices.

Post-Disaster Reconstruction and Change: Communities Perspectives Post-Disaster Reconstruction and Change: Communities Perspectives
Post-Disaster Reconstruction and Change: Communities Perspectives Post-Disaster Reconstruction and Change: Communities Perspectives
Post-Disaster Reconstruction and Change: Communities Perspectives Post-Disaster Reconstruction and Change: Communities Perspectives
Post-Disaster Reconstruction and Change: Communities Perspectives Post-Disaster Reconstruction and Change: Communities Perspectives
Post-Disaster Reconstruction and Change: Communities Perspectives Post-Disaster Reconstruction and Change: Communities Perspectives

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