Academic journal article Geography

Cities at Risk: Planning for and Recovering from Natural Disasters

Academic journal article Geography

Cities at Risk: Planning for and Recovering from Natural Disasters

Article excerpt

Cities at Risk: Planning for and recovering from natural disasters Edited by Pierre Filion, Gary Sands and Mark Skidmore Farnham: Ashgate, 2015 216pp, 16x24cm, Hb: ?65.00, ISBN 978-1-4724-4168-3

Cities at Risk has adopted an interesting and effective approach to the responses to disasters. It does not consist of series of chapters that focus on a different hazard and the various impacts and responses. Instead, the chapters are organised by the stage of the natural disaster recovery process they focus on, taking the reader from preparedness, immediate responses to a disaster, early recovery aimed at ensuring survival of victims, long-term strategies for reconstruction and ending with getting people back into the area and aiding the rapid recovery of the economy. To this end, each chapter focuses on specific problems.

The responses to a recurrent flood problem provide a useful starting point. This chapter explores the responses of two communities, one being mobilised leading to an effective response, while the second community remains vulnerable. What is also useful is the exploration of the role of women in leading a community response to a hazard. The following chapter deals with the Fukushima (Japan) nuclear meltdown (earthquake-tsunami) and responses to Hurricane Sandy (USA), effectively addressing the potential threat to the technological systems upon which many cities now depend, and the additional problems they can create. …

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