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2019 Wenk Lecture

Featuring Laurie Johnson, internationally recognized urban planner specializing in disaster recovery

Tuesday, October 29, 3:30pm
Alder Hall Auditorium
Reception to follow in Alder 106
Free and open to the public. No RSVP required.

Rebuilding for resilience 

Disaster experience informs future recovery efforts 

Drawing upon years of experience researching and practicing post-disaster recovery planning and management, internationally recognized expert Laurie Johnson will present key findings from her recent book, After Great Disasters: An In-Depth Analysis of How Six Countries Managed Community Recovery. Johnson will offer insight from her experiences following Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, the 1995 Kobe and 2011 Tohoku earthquakes and tsunami in Japan, the 2011 earthquakes in Christchurch New Zealand, the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in China and more.

Post-disaster community recovery offers opportunities to improve construction and design standards, renew infrastructure, create new land use arrangements, reinvent economies, and improve governance. If done well, rebuilding can also help break the cycle of disaster-related impacts and losses and improve the resilience of a city or region. The lessons presented can help communities and government leaders better organize and implement recovery after future disasters. A framework for planning, managing and retreating from future hazard-prone areas will also be presented.

Laurie Johnson is an internationally recognized urban planner specializing in disaster recovery and catastrophe risk management. For nearly 30 years, she has combined her unique blend of professional practice and research in earth science, urban planning and public policy to help communities address the complex urban challenges posed by natural hazards and disasters. Her current portfolio of work is with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Geological Survey, California Earthquake Authority, California Geological Survey and California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, City and County of San Francisco, New Zealand Earthquake Commission, and Wellington Regional Emergency Management Office, among others. She is also the President of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) and recent chair of the federal Advisory Committee on Earthquake Hazards Reduction. She holds a Doctor of Informatics degree from Kyoto University and a Master of Urban Planning and Bachelor of Science in Geophysics, both from Texas A&M University, and is a 2018 inductee into the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners.