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Using the skills and knowledge of built environment professionals to strengthen the capacity of vulnerable communities

Pathirage, C 2012, 'Using the skills and knowledge of built environment professionals to strengthen the capacity of vulnerable communities' , International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, 3 (3) , pp. 196-198.

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The world's exposure to hazards, whether of natural or man-made origins and impact on communities is ever rising as evident from recent disasters. Increasing frequency and intensity of disasters have also resulted in severe disruptions of built environment facilities. This reality will inevitably require the frequent reconstruction of communities, particularly buildings and infrastructure. As we have seen in the past, built environment facilities are becoming more vulnerable to disasters due to growing population and their inherent features such as location specificity, immobility, durability and stability. However, the protective characteristics of the built environment offer an important means by which humanity can reduce the risk posed by hazards, thereby preventing a disaster. How those buildings and infrastructure are designed and built, and where they are located, is critical to their ability to withstand different types of natural or man-made hazard. This, therefore, highlights the growing recognition the construction industry and built environment professions have to play in contributing to a community's improved resilience to disasters. The importance of built environment professional expertise in disaster management seems obvious on the face of it. It is sometimes said, for example, that earthquakes don’t kill people, but buildings do. As it was evident, with increased vulnerability of built environment facilities to hazards the call upon built environment professionals to extend their role to disaster management has gained its momentum. Consequently the number of new disaster management related degree programmes, specifically at postgraduate level, introduced by built environment higher education institutions around the world has increased significantly. However, the active role that built environment professional institutions could play on regulating disaster management education and research is yet to achieve its potential.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Built and Human Environment
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment > Centre for Urban Processes, Resilient Infrastructures & Sustainable Environments (UPRISE)
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment
Publisher: Emerald
Refereed: No
ISSN: 1759-5908
Related URLs:
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: Chaminda Pathirage
Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2015 16:11
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2015 01:20

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