Resilience NEWS

Flirting with disaster

The main street of Creswick in flood in 2010. Photo: Ken Irwin
The main street of Creswick in flood in 2010. Photo: Ken Irwin

After the deadly summer of 2010-2011, executives at Insurance Australia Group made a decision. Floods had swept through the eastern states, killing more than two dozen people and causing billions of dollars of damage. ”We have a whole ‘natural perils’ department made up of scientists and engineers who constantly model risk,” says Mike Wilkins, IAG’s managing director. ”But it’s bigger than us. We needed to be part of a co-ordinated national conversation.” The team began planning a ”risk summit”, with 60 invitees from the business world, community groups and government. Together, they took aim at Australia’s record on disaster prevention. They identified two key problems: not enough spending on mitigation and poor land-use planning…


The new ‘Godzilla’ reflects our current fears of nuclear and natural disasters

godzillaHe’s a 350-foot-tall metaphor. The King of Monsters returns Friday in Warner Bros.’ “Godzilla,” and though he has been dormant from the big screen for a long time, one thing hasn’t changed in the 60 years since he first stomped onto the shores of Tokyo: He represents our fears of a modern world. Back in Toho Studios’ 1954 movie “Gojira” (a combination of the Japanese words for gorilla and whale — sort of like Sharknado), the rampaging radioactive mutation may have been an actor in a rubber costume, but he captivated worldwide audiences still terrified by the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and their atomic and environmental fallout…


Emergencies and Natural Disasters: measuring children’s vulnerability to minimise their suffering

There are various reasons why a child caught up in an emergency or a natural disaster may end up classified as ‘unaccompanied and separated’. The separation may be accidental, caused by sudden displacement or death. It might be due to force: abduction, trafficking or the recruitment of children into armed groups all flourish in unusually chaotic situations. It may be the result of a difficult decision made by the family to protect their children by sending them elsewhere. Without their relatives, these children are at greater risk of violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect…


Resilience: From a theoretical concept towards a global paradigm?

In 2009 I wrote my Master thesis at the Stockholm Resilience Center (SRC), based on field work in the Western African Republic of Niger. Being at the SRC, basically the ‘brain’ behind resilience theory, it was quite impossible not to deal with this concept. Back then, resilience theory seemed quite complex to me, and having a human geography background, I wasn’t sure about its applicability to the ‘human dimension’. The adaptive cycle, panarchy, basins of attraction – how should these terms be of any use for a non-scientist?..


Designing for Disaster

designing for disaster

Designing for Disaster will discuss disaster mitigation as an evolving science and highlight the tools and strategies that today’s planners, engineers, designers, emergency managers, scientists, environmentalists, and various business and community leaders are investigating and adopting to build safer, more disaster-resilient communities. Because of the importance of housing the exhibition will feature exemplary disaster-resistant residential design. In addition, the exhibition will also highlight a variety of other building or facilities: hospitals, schools, airports, public arenas/stadiums, fire/police stations, public transportation networks/systems, commercial buildings, and retail outlets. The selected structures will be geographically dispersed throughout the country and will have been designed to address at least one hazard in an exemplary way…

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