Community Resilience And Disasters Essay

Length: 2 pages Sources: 4 Subject: Transportation Type: Essay Paper: #76555120 Related Topics: Flooding, Working Class, Hurricane Katrina, Sustainability
Excerpt from Essay :

Holistic Recovery: Sustainable and Resilient Communities

Researchers have long known that there is more to disaster recovery than disaster recovery agencies can possibly address. While these professionals play a key role in mitigating and responding to damages that may be incurred as the result of a disaster, ultimately the community members itself have to contribute to the recovery and their participation is a critical success factor to the resilience of a community. For example, when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans it pointed out that many of the members of the community that were not necessarily considered to be socially sustainable did not intend to return to the city; approximately 39% of evacuees that were poor and Black (Campanella, 2006, p. 144). However, some individual communities from the same city and same event showed significantly more resilience. Examples of this can be provided by the Lower Ninth Ward and working-class Vietnamese American communities who fought to rebuild their communities, arguably because the shared a common heritage that provided a level of communal resilience that allowed the communities to overcome the specific challenges that they faced (Campanella, 2006, p. 143).

Such examples clearly illustrate that there is more to building resilience than simply responding to a disaster. Building resilient communities is a process that is more holistic and includes a long-term perspective as well as the inclusion of social, economic, and


The process of planning for recovery from a disasters begins long before the actual disaster takes place and must incorporate many factors that were previously largely unrecognized. In many cases there have been silver linings in the recovery effort that have allowed communities to rebuild after a disaster strikes in ways that make their communities more resilient such as in New York where they are better prepared for coastal flooding after the rebuilding effort from Sandy or in New Orleans where there has been improved coordination of levee planning and maintenance after Katrina (Schwab, p. 159). In the wake of such disasters, planners can use adaptive thinking to produce creative solutions to future resiliency issues during the disaster response.

However, the holistic approach needs to go much deeper than adaptive planning models in the wake of disasters. To build resilient communities, these communities also need to be sustainable. Sustainability can be thought of as resilience in the "three Es" -- equity, environment, and economy that are found within a…

Sources Used in Documents:


Barr, S., & Devine-Wright, P. (2012). Resilient communities: sustainabilities is transition. Local Environment, 525-532.

Campanella, T. (2006). Urban Resilience and the Recovery of New Orleans. Journal of the American Planning Association, 141-147.

Introduction to Sustainability. (n.d.).

Schwab, J. (n.d.). Next Steps in Creating Resilient Communities. American Planning Association, 158-168.

Cite this Document:

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