RMIT has tackled issues impacting the built environment profession at a symposium on disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, conflict risk management, recovery and reconstruction.
The Creation and Catastrophe Symposium, which was facilitated by RMIT’s Professor Esther Charlesworth and supported by RMIT Europe, was held earlier this year at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in London.
Over 60 people took part in the event from across Europe, including academics and representatives of government and non-government organisations working in the disaster and development sector.
A report from the symposium is now available to built environment professionals worldwide.
Charlesworth, who is also Director of RMIT's Humanitarian Architecture Research Bureau (HARB), said the report is a valuable tool to share the symposium's findings with a wide audience.
“Among the topics covered include ways to promote the interest of the architecture profession in risk reduction not just post-disaster settlement issues,” Charlesworth said.
“It also includes issues such as the professional recognition and accreditation of architectural work in the disaster and development sector.”
Charlesworth said the group put forward a need to promote programs that award development practice with a professional status.
“We also suggest a need to increase the capacity for local professionals to deal with post-disasters, which can be supported through a strengthening of professional institutional collaborations and international networks,” she said.
“It should also be a priority for practitioners to learn from each other by sharing the lessons learnt from successes and failures of projects and programs.”
Organised in collaboration with RMIT, Oxford Brookes University, and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the symposium was the first of what will be a regular forum and platform for professionals working in the disaster and development sector.
It included contributions by Dan Lewis from UN-Habitat, David Alexander, Rafe Bertram from Fosters, Maggie Stephenson from University College London, and Nabeel Hamdi from Oxford Brookes University.
Creation and Catastrophe Symposium Report
Appendix 1: Agenda
Appendix 2: List of attendees
Appendix 3: Panelist presentations by Esther Charlesworth, Cathrine Brun, Carmen Mendoza, John Norton, Bill Flinn
Appendix 4: Survey
Story: Sigrid Ehrmann