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Disasters, the Whole Community, and Development as Capacity Building

  • William L. WaughJr.
  • Cathy Yang Liu
Chapter
Part of the Environmental Hazards book series (ENHA)

Abstract

Disasters provide opportunities to change patterns of development, new resources to support those changes, and incentives to become more resilient and sustainable, reducing losses in future disasters. Policy inertia is broken, new voices are heard, constituencies are mobilized, champions emerge, and new development tools are brought to bear. However, some communities are able to use the opportunity to address risks and sustainable development, while others are not able to do so. What distinguishes the successful communities from the less successful and how are capacities built? An integrated model is built for assessing community characteristics and recovery-related capacities, and critical variables are identified. The model includes social vulnerability, the structure of the local economy, business diversity, nonprofit density, and government capacity. Engagement of the “whole community” and building social capital, as well as having effective community leadership, can mean the difference between success and failure in disaster recovery and sustainable development.

Keywords

Community resilience Sustainable development Disaster recovery Social capital “Whole community” 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Georgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA

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