- Capacity Building workshop on Disaster Resilient Measures, Southern Province, Sri Lanka – September 2013
- International Conference on Building Resilience: Individual, institutional and societal coping strategies to address the challenges associated with disaster risk, Heritance Ahungalla, Sri Lanka, 17th - 19th September 2013
- Table of contents from the most recently published issue of International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment – August 2013
- Global assessment report on disaster risk reduction – May 2013
- Salford work in Sri Lanka and Iraq praised at Guardian awards - March 2013
- MAKING CITIES RESILIENT Special Themed issue of the International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment (IJDRBE) - February 2012
- Dr.Bingu Ingirige, addresses the European Forum for Urban Security (EFUS) 2012 conference in Brussels -December 2012
- Towards a Research Partnership in Disaster Management and Resilience Symposium - November 2012
BUILDING DISASTER RESILIENT COMMUNITIES
The University of Salford’s Centre for Disaster Resilience is working with communities around the world to increase their resilience to the threat posed by natural and human induced hazards.
The Centre for Disaster Resilience promotes research and scholarly activity that examines the role of building and construction to anticipate and respond to disasters that damage or destroy the built environment. The Centre is a focal point of excellence for promoting the understanding the University of Salford, UK, within its Built and Human Environment (BuHu) Research. The Centre undertakes a full range of research styles, from fundamental theory building to highly applied and widely disseminated. Holistic solutions to real world problems are facilitated by the flow, interaction and creation of knowledge across multi-disciplinary groups and networks.
The term Resilience has been adopted in an attempt to describe the way in which it is possible to reduce a nation’s susceptibility to major incidents of all kinds. Resilience means trying to reduce the probability of these events occurring and their likely effects, and building institutions and structures in such a way as to minimise any possible effects of disruption upon them. Current thinking has it that there are no natural disasters. Hazards give rise to disasters when they coincide with vulnerable populations or infrastructure and hence all disasters, to some degree, are man-made. The denial of the naturalness of disasters is in no way a denial of natural process. Whether a natural event is a disaster or not depends ultimately, however, on its location. A large earthquake in the Hindu Kush may spawn no disaster whatsoever while the same intensity event in California could be a catastrophe. Human induced hazards may include sociological, technological, material and transportation hazards. For example, during and after a period of war, there is a need to focus on the reintegration and rehabilitation needs of conflict affected Internal Displaced People (IDPs), returnees and host communities in conflict affected countries.
Construction’s role in disaster mitigation and recovery
There is growing recognition that the construction industry has an important role in helping communities to anticipate, assess, prevent, prepare, respond, and recover from disasters of all types. This process is commonly visualised as a two-phase cycle, with post-disaster recovery informing pre- disaster risk reduction, and vice versa. This illustrates the ongoing process by which governments, businesses, and civil society plan for and reduce the impact of disasters, react during and immediately following a disaster, and take steps to recover after a disaster has occurred. The significance of this concept is its ability to promote the holistic approach as well as to demonstrate the relationship between disasters and development.
Mitigation is any structural and non-structural measure undertaken to minimise the adverse impact of potential hazard events. Recovery and reconstruction are commonly identified within the post-disaster phase, the period that immediately follows after the occurrence of the disaster. Once a disaster has taken place, the first concern is effective recovery; helping all those affected to recover from the immediate effects of the disaster. Reconstruction involves helping to restore the basic infrastructure and services that the people need so that they can return to the pattern of life which they had before the disaster. The importance of the transitional phase, linking immediate recovery and long-term reconstruction, is also stressed. With the recovery of social institutions, the economy and major infrastructure, efforts may shift to longer-term recovery and reconstruction. Within the construction process after a disaster, there is an opportunity to build back better, ensuring risk reduction, resilience, sustainability and community input that are designed into redevelopment.
The aftermath of armed conflict is frequently characterised by the need for reconstructing damaged infrastructure to sustain recovery as the infrastructure has suffered from damage and neglect during a war and from an absence of new investment. There is usually a great demand for technically trained manpower when massive development projects are launched. Also due to migration, displacement and years of mistrust, communities need to be rebuilt physically, socially and economically.