Thursday, October 24, 2013

Upcoming Papers

Two papers have been generated by the team in the area of disaster management for the upcoming AUBEA conference to be held in Auckland from 20-22 November. The first is an agenda setting paper, exploring the context of New South Wales and its exposure to disaster risk, a particularly timely output as we are currently experiencing extreme wildfire conditions in the region and the debate around climate change and resilience is on the table once more. The second paper explores the conditions that must be created in order to fully engage the commercial construction industry in post-disaster reconstruction. The study identifies the key barriers to engagement and argues for extensive benefits to both the humanitarian sector and the construction industry through closer collaboration, formulating a framework to define a potential path forward. The full papers will be presented at AUBEA and will be available thereafter. 


J. Von Meding1, R. Le Goff1, G. Brewer1, J. MacKee1, T. Gajendran1, S. Crick2
1University of Newcastle, Australia
2Parsons Brinckerhoff


J. von Meding1, A. McVeigh1, Z. Amiri2, C. Burke3
University of Newcastle, Australia
2 Alaodoleh Semnani Institute of Higher Education, Iran
Queen’s University Belfast, UK     

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

An Introduction

It's a little bit daunting to start a new blog, with zero readers and zero backlinks. However, every great endeavour must start somewhere so we, a group of researchers at the University of Newcastle, Australia, have decided to start a blog relating to our research on disasters and development. Our group is based within the School of Architecture & Built Environment and we are part of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Built Environment Research.

The researchers that make up the group each have their particular expertise and body of work, but we have collectively been drawn to this area of research though an interest in some of the key issues facing humanity, and we believe that while the built environment voice is particularly valuable, it is not always heard on these issues.

As we face up to mounting challenges in the way of more frequent and powerful hazards, researchers from all disciplinary backgrounds are realising that we must do our utmost to not only develop effective processes and innovative technologies for disaster response and recovery, but more importantly we must strive to prevent disasters from occurring through disaster risk reduction and preparedness activities.

At the heart of the matter, disasters are a product of extreme human vulnerability and we must go beyond treating the symptom to investigating the disease. Though a built environment lens, our group will explore systems of inequality and injustice that ensure that vulnerability cannot be adequately addressed through aid or goodwill gestures. We recognise that a broad appreciation of the economic, social, ethical, cultural and political dimensions are a basic necessity for any discourse on disasters and development.

This blog will chart the progress of our various research projects and allow a platform for all members of our growing team to contribute to an important dialogue. This will be a place to open up some of the frequent discussions had at UoN in corridors, offices and coffee shops for wider comment and public debate.

On the right you will find researcher profiles that introduce the members of the group. The intention is to develop the site to include relevant publications and activities. Please bear with us as we build the site and make sure to enter your email address (on the right hand side) in order to receive updates.

Thanks on behalf of the group