Authors: Mägdefrau, Nadine
Title: Building urban resilience through spatial planning following disasters
Other Titles: The Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami
Language (ISO): en
Abstract: It is expected that the changing temperatures and rising sea levels caused through global climate change will result in an aggravation of disaster risks (e.g. from heat stress, storms, flooding, landslides, air pollution, drought and water scarcity), particularly in urban areas (IPCC, 2014). This trend is exaggerated by the continuing trend of urbanization, which is projected to result in 66% of the people worldwide to live in cities in 2050 (United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, 2014, p. 1). It is an important obligation of spatial planners to facilitate that this urban development follows certain standards, including safe housing and the provision of basic utilities and infrastructure as well as adequate health services (PreventionWeb, 2015; United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, 2014). Resilience is one of the key concepts to address these challenges. If a city is resilient, it is able to “resist, absorb, accommodate to and recover from the effects of a hazard in a timely and efficient manner, including through the preservation and restoration of its essential basic structures and functions” (UNISDR, 2009, p. 24). The adjustment of existing urban structures is time-consuming and cost-intensive; therefore, a resilient city can most efficiently be achieved when it is first developed (UN-Habitat, 2015) or after a disaster has erased the previously existing city structures (Olshansky, Hopkins, & Johnson, 2012). The time frame after the disaster can be considered as a window of opportunity for planners to build the city back better or – in other words – to build a resilient city. Although the relevance of spatial planners for the construction of resilient cities is obvious, there is little knowledge of spatial planning’s capabilities to achieve this goal so far. Drawing from experiences on the reconstruction process after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami 2011 in Japan’s Miyako City and Ishinomaki City, this dissertation addresses this topic. It explains which of the local spatial planning options can be used to build resilience and how the toolkit of spatial planners can be improved in order to be more efficient to build urban resilience. Even through these spatial planning options differ from country to country and the focus of this work on Japan only enables a limited transferability of the research results, the experiences from Tohoku Region are able to contribute to the ongoing discussion about spatial planning and urban resilience after disasters.
Subject Headings: Urban planning
Spatial planning
Urban resilience
Disaster resilience
Risk governance
Great East Japan Earthquake
Raumplanung
Resilienz
Risikomanagement
Subject Headings (RSWK): Japan
Raumplanung
Resilienz
Naturkatastrophe
Risikomanagement
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2003/36277
http://dx.doi.org/10.17877/DE290R-18291
Issue Date: 2016
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