CUED Publications database

Application of sustainability principles in post-disaster reconstruction

MacAskill, K and Guthrie, P (2014) Application of sustainability principles in post-disaster reconstruction. In: UNSPECIFIED pp. 43-52..

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The link between a sustainability agenda and post-disaster reconstruction is gaining increasing attention. However it is not clear how sustainability thinking affects outcomes of reconstruction programmes. This paper identifies key factors that influence how sustainability principles are integrated into decisions for reconstruction. This is based on empirical research conducted in Christchurch, New Zealand, following earthquakes in 2010 and 2011. The discussion focuses on the role of the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (SCIRT) in the city's reconstruction. SCIRT is a collaborative organisation that was established to deliver the rebuild of infrastructure networks (wastewater, water supply, stormwater and roads) through an alliance agreement for design and construction. Information has been gathered through semi-structured interviews with professionals involved in the reconstruction, supported by an investigation of relevant government reports and project documentation. It is clear that constrained finances place a significant limitation on what can be achieved in post-disaster reconstruction. Working within this limitation however, there are several factors that shape how sustainability principles are incorporated into decisions for the design and construction of infrastructure. Some of the key factors identified through the Christchurch case study are: (a) Decision boundaries: organisational arrangements influence how and what decisions are made regarding the nature of infrastructure reconstruction or repair; (b) Conflicting timescales: there is a trade-off between the short-term need to restore services and longer-term considerations of improved system development and maintenance; (c) Best practice: opportunities to adopt sustainable approaches (as defined in the business-as-usual infrastructure construction) can prove to be elusive where adhering to a pre-conceived level of 'best practice' may not be appropriate; (d) Resilience: the concept of resilience is clearly embedded in options analysis for repairing or rebuilding infrastructure, helping to facilitate a longer-term perspective.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Divisions: Div D > Sustainable Development
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2017 19:37
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2018 07:50