Commentary on Approaches To Resilience Building Through Post-disaster

Event: Keio University Symposium 2011: From Post-Disaster Reconstruction To the Creation of Resilient Societies
Date: 16-17 December, 2011

The session was devoted to discussion of both top-down and bottoms up approaches to managing the devastation earthquakes and other natural disasters inevitably bring, with special attention placed on developing resiliency. Lessons were shared from recent disasters from around the world, including the United States, China, Indonesia, and Japan. Conclusions taken from the presenters experience was diverse. A salient point was the observed need for the development of networks at several scales, from global to local communities, in order to respond effectively to the immediate (emergency) needs in the wake of a disaster. The lack of a proper path of communications to create such networks remains acute. A common thread in the work of many of the presenters was the observation that resiliency is created, and planned for, through the actions of two groups - the government (using top-down methods,) and the inhabitants (using bottom-up and ad-hoc methods). Each group has a different agenda; however it was proposed that best results may be achieved through a combination of both approaches working towards a larger shared goal.