Postdisaster Urban Recovery: 20 Years of Recovery of Kobe

By: , Posted on: April 26, 2016


A new book by Rajib Shaw, et al, Urban Disasters and Resilience in Asia, is a pioneering reference guide that provides evidence-based data to improve disaster resiliency in urban Asia. It presents the latest information on the intensity and frequency of disasters, specifically, the fact that, in urban areas, more than 50% of the world’s population is living on just 2% of the land surface, with most of these cities located in Asia and developing countries that have high vulnerability and intensification.

A chapter in the book called “Postdisaster Urban Recovery: 20 Years of Recovery of Kobemakes note of the twenty years after the Hanshin Awaji earthquake struck in 1995 where the infrastructure and buildings of the city of Kobe have been rebuilt and revitalized. Although there was some damage to agricultural and fishing villages, most of the damage occurred in the city and its outskirts, so that Hanshin Awaji earthquake is characterized as an urban disaster.

The characteristics of the recovery of Kobe from Hanshin Awaji Earthquake include creative recovery (also called reconstruction), city planning measures, public involvement, industrial recovery, and life recovery. The term creative recovery means to rebuild Kobe as a leading city in the modern world, not just bringing it back to what it was. This recovery was achieved by land readjustment and urban redevelopment projects; associations organized for the purpose of promoting regional development by citizens played an important role. Such organizations direct the recovery of towns and cities through consensus building among citizens.

Measures for industrial recovery include the revitalization of small businesses and stores, new industry development, and special zones for structural reform to support a wide range of businesses to give people jobs and revitalize the city. Life recovery to support victims by programs for community development or mental care has grown in importance after the devastation of Kobe. Thus, the city’s recovery has been achieved through public involvement in the process of recovery and concrete measures for sustainable development.

Read the entire chapter below:

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Urban Disasters and Resilience in Asia

If you would like to read additional chapters from Urban Disasters and Resilience in Asia, you can access the book on ScienceDirect. If you would prefer to purchase a print or eBook, visit the Elsevier Store. Apply discount code STC215 for 30% off the list price and free global shipping.


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