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Resilience Planning as a Means for Disaster Risk Reduction, Recovery, and Preparedness in the Rockaways: Insights from Hurricane Sandy & COVID-19

Bulut, Tihana

Resilience planning has emerged as a recently popularized phenomenon in the field of urban planning, having the potential to reduce urban disaster risk while also enhancing disaster recovery and preparedness. Current urban planning literatures fail to consider resilience planning as a continuous process which integrates conditions of the pre- and post-disaster landscape. Planners practice resilience through phases, organizing after a disaster to plan and rebuild, largely ignoring the time before the disaster despite its potential for ensuring long-term community resilience. In a context where disasters are becoming more frequent, this time before need be considered when planning for resilience. This study attempts to reframe resilience in the field of urban planning by analyzing how resilience is practiced on the ground at the community level.

This study argues that resilience planning needs to consider dynamics across temporal space by studying the time in between disasters. In New York City, this refers to the near decade separating Hurricane Sandy and COVID-19. This framework is applied and informed by a case study analysis in Rockaway, New York City, a community that has been disproportionately impacted by both Hurricane Sandy and COVID-19. The methods in this study include a series of qualitative semi-structured interviews with city agency representatives and community organizers. Findings conclude that in Rockaway, the practice and implementation of resilience planning within the last decade has contributed to issues of distrust, trauma, and burnout, negatively impacting COVID-19 recovery thus far. These findings emphasize the need for resilience to be practiced continuously as the recontextualization of everyday risk can help reduce community distrust, trauma, and burnout that have emerged as a result of the resilience planning cycle.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Meisterlin, Leah M.
Degree
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
July 12, 2021