Members of the RMIT Disaster Research Network undertake research that focuses on the recovery and reconstruction phase to assist communities rebuild.
Connecting communities and resilience: A multi–hazard study of preparedness, response and recovery communications
Team: John Handmer, Jennifer Boldero (The University of Melbourne), Vivienne Tippett (QUT)
Funded by: Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC Project (2013-2017)
Professor Handmer will work on this project which is based at The University of Melbourne, and will be collaborating with the University of Queensland and GNS in New Zealand.
Risk and warning communication plays an essential role in building, maintaining and restoring resilience in individuals, communities and businesses. Recent natural hazard events demonstrate that current risk and warning communications do not always lead to the desired effect on community response and recovery.
The project aims to develop evidence-based strategies that motivate appropriate action and increase informed decision-making during the response and recovery phases of disasters.
Humanitarian Architecture Research Bureau (HARB)
Team: Esther Charlesworth and Iftekar Ahmed
With natural disasters a reoccurring event in Australia and globally, the demand for post-disaster reconstruction has never been so demanding. In 2011, 42 million people were displaced by natural disasters rather than by wars and armed conflicts. And yet, the number of architects equipped to deal with rebuilding the aftermath of these floods, fires, earthquake, typhoons and tsunamis is chronically short.
RMIT’s Humanitarian Architecture Research Bureau (HARB) is the first university-based research group in the Asia-Pacific region to focus on the role and capacity of built environment professionals after disaster.
HARB members promote interdisciplinary research on humanitarian design that focuses on the contributions that that the disciplines of architecture, landscape architecture, project management and planning, can make to communities experiencing extreme poverty, displacement by natural disasters and conflict, and/or the increasing impacts of climate change.
Housing on the edge: Designing sustainable housing systems for vulnerable communities
Team: Esther Charlesworth, Iftekar Ahmed
Funded by: ARC Future Fellowship (2011-2015)
Professor Esther Charlesworth, ARC Future Fellow commenced in 2011 and will continue to 2015, explores the roles which architectural professionals play in designing sustainable housing systems for vulnerable communities, with field work taking place across Australia and internationally to reflect ’best-practice’ in housing project following a natural disaster. Practical guidelines will be developed to increase the contributions architects can make, in collaboration with other emergency management disciplines, to the construction of housing after severe social disruptions and natural disasters. A key outcome of the research will be an understanding of the opportunities and constraints within the architectural profession to contributing to the design of sustainable housing systems.
Re-building communities in the wake of disaster: Social Recovery in Sri Lanka and India
Team: Martin Mulligan and Yaso Nadarajah
Re-building communities in the wake of disaster: Social Recovery in Sri Lanka and India, has been co-authored by RMIT researchers. This book is the most intensive and extensive study of post-disaster community rebuilding ever published in literature on disaster management. This book draws on five communities affected by the 2004 tsunami, across southern and eastern Sri Lanka and Chennai, India. This project was supported by an ARC Linkage grant, resulting in a series of reports delivered to Australian Government Overseas Aid Agency, AUSAID.
Researchers travelled to Sri Lanka to hear first-hand from communities that have been affected by the tsunami. This book not only focuses on the rebuilding of homes and infrastructure but the rebuilding of communities and their lives, planning for social recovery.