0
The Cultural Imprint on
Reconstruction After Disaster

David Alexander
University College London
Proposition 1: Human culture offers
opportunities and constraints to disaster
risk reduction (DRR). Working with it,
much ...
Sardinia, 17 Nov. 2013 - 16 dead in floods
Although Italy has a disaster response
capability of unparalleled excellence,
i...
A model of culture
Organisational
systems:
management

Political
systems:
decisions

Hazard

Vulnerability

Resilience

Social
systems:
behav...
Emergency not decoded

Images
of reality

Ignorance

Cultural
Perceptual

Symbolic
constructions

filter
filter

Diffusion...
Long term

Emic components

Etic components

Ideological
(non-scientific)
interpretations
of disaster

Short term

METAMOR...
Retribution

MEANING
Retrospective
interpretation

Judgement

Portent

DISASTER

ACCEPTANCE
Predictive
interpretation

Tra...
Event
Symbolism
inherent in
technological
culture

Traditional
symbolism
and portent

Dynamic cultural
metamorphosis
Inter...
National
Regional
Peer
group
culture

Family
culture

Value
system
Work
culture

culture
culture

Personal
culture
-

negative

Risk perception
factors

+

positive

Total
vulnerability
Risk DIALECTIC Risk
amplification
mitigation
factor...
Risk

Perception
Culture
Accurate

Inaccurate

Decision
Action
Result
Positive

Filter

Negative
On government
Technological,
economic and
social issues

External
hazards

Regulatory
role

Stewardship
role

GOVERNMENT

Management
rol...
Disaster

Risk Policy
Assessment

Risk assessment
• hazard
• vulnerability Policy assessment
• exposure
• costs
Expected •...
The recovery triangle
Reducing posttraumatic stress

Re-establishing
production and
economic activities

Recovery
after di...
Disaster as opportunity
• revitalisation of city centres
• contraction of city spaces

• improvement of public transport
•...
The importance of time in reconstruction
Negative: livelihoods and homes need
rehabilitating as quickly as possible.
Posit...
IMPACT
Varying context:
EMERGENCY
• political
RESPONSE
• economic
• social
SHORT-TERM
RECOVERY

CULTURAL
CONTEXT

P E S

M...
On resilience
Causes of disaster
natural geophysical,
technological, social

RESILIENCE
Human
cultures
constraints
and
opportunities

Ad...
Resilience: facets...
Organisation:
• public admin.
• private sector
• civil society

Individual
Community
...and relation...
BENIGN (healthy)

at the service of the people

IDEOLOGY

interplay

dialectic

CULTURE

MALIGN (corrupt)

at the service ...
Lisbon,
post 1755:
monumental
reconstruction
A monument not wanted.

Kesennuma City

Cultural conflict between
the desire to commemorate
and the desire to forget.
Town of Gibellina,
Belice Valley, Sicily
after the 1968
earthquake (Italy)
An ambitious
"social engineering"
project to cr...
Conclusions
DEMAND

NEEDS

POTENTIAL
TO BE
EXPLOITED

SUPPLY

CREATION
OF A NEW
CULTURE
OF CIVIL
PROTECTION
Resilient
culture

Culture of
resilience
The creation of a culture of civil protection
HABIT
MASS
EDUCATION
PROGRAMME

CULTURE

SOCIAL
CAPITAL
Augmentation

INSTRU...
"Pandora's box" model of disaster
• 'window of opportunity' for bad things
• disaster reveals socio-economic ills
• amplif...
THE PILLARS OF MODERN LIFE
Ideocentrism

idealism
principle
belief
faith

virtue
charity
service
defence of principles

Mo...
Ideocentrism
+ ideal: effective disaster mitigation
- fanaticism: politicization of humanitariam relief
Morality
+ virtue:...
david.alexander@ucl.ac uk
emergency-planning.blogspot.com
www.slideshare.com/dealexander

Ishinomaki

Thank you for your a...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

The cultural imprint on reconstruction

446

Published on

Published in: Education, Technology, Business
0 Comments
3 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
446
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
24
Comments
0
Likes
3
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Transcript of "The cultural imprint on reconstruction"

  1. 1. The Cultural Imprint on Reconstruction After Disaster David Alexander University College London
  2. 2. Proposition 1: Human culture offers opportunities and constraints to disaster risk reduction (DRR). Working with it, much can be achieved; working against it, even valid projects will fail because they are not culturally compatible. Proposition 2: Culture can be changed to make it more amenable to DRR – but only very slowly and with much effort.
  3. 3. Sardinia, 17 Nov. 2013 - 16 dead in floods Although Italy has a disaster response capability of unparalleled excellence, its political, administrative, religious and social cultures are currently not amenable to planned disaster risk reduction.
  4. 4. A model of culture
  5. 5. Organisational systems: management Political systems: decisions Hazard Vulnerability Resilience Social systems: behaviour Natural systems: function Technical systems: malfunction
  6. 6. Emergency not decoded Images of reality Ignorance Cultural Perceptual Symbolic constructions filter filter Diffusion of information Enlightenment Emergency decoded
  7. 7. Long term Emic components Etic components Ideological (non-scientific) interpretations of disaster Short term METAMORPHOSIS OF CULTURE Learned (scientific) interpretations of disaster Experiences of culture [mass-media and consumer culture] Accumulated cultural traits and beliefs Inherited cultural background
  8. 8. Retribution MEANING Retrospective interpretation Judgement Portent DISASTER ACCEPTANCE Predictive interpretation Traditional view of disaster - modern parallels?
  9. 9. Event Symbolism inherent in technological culture Traditional symbolism and portent Dynamic cultural metamorphosis Interpretation
  10. 10. National Regional Peer group culture Family culture Value system Work culture culture culture Personal culture
  11. 11. - negative Risk perception factors + positive Total vulnerability Risk DIALECTIC Risk amplification mitigation factors factors
  12. 12. Risk Perception Culture Accurate Inaccurate Decision Action Result Positive Filter Negative
  13. 13. On government
  14. 14. Technological, economic and social issues External hazards Regulatory role Stewardship role GOVERNMENT Management role Operational and policy risks
  15. 15. Disaster Risk Policy Assessment Risk assessment • hazard • vulnerability Policy assessment • exposure • costs Expected • benefits losses • consequences Policy adoption
  16. 16. The recovery triangle Reducing posttraumatic stress Re-establishing production and economic activities Recovery after disaster Political, cultural and environmental context. Physical recovery Buildings, infrastructure, transport, agriculture, etc.
  17. 17. Disaster as opportunity • revitalisation of city centres • contraction of city spaces • improvement of public transport • making urban areas safer • stimulating community and occupation.
  18. 18. The importance of time in reconstruction Negative: livelihoods and homes need rehabilitating as quickly as possible. Positive: time gives opportunity for consultation and allows problems to be solved as they appear, not at the end when all is done.
  19. 19. IMPACT Varying context: EMERGENCY • political RESPONSE • economic • social SHORT-TERM RECOVERY CULTURAL CONTEXT P E S MEDIUM-TERM RECOVERY P E S LONG-TERM RECOVERY P E S STAGNATION RECONSTRUCTION
  20. 20. On resilience
  21. 21. Causes of disaster natural geophysical, technological, social RESILIENCE Human cultures constraints and opportunities Adaptation to risk IMPACTS History single and cumulative impact of past disasters
  22. 22. Resilience: facets... Organisation: • public admin. • private sector • civil society Individual Community ...and relationships VULNERABILITY FRAGILITY SUSCEPTIBILITY physical environmental social economic health-related cultural educational infrastructural institutional RESILIENCE COPING
  23. 23. BENIGN (healthy) at the service of the people IDEOLOGY interplay dialectic CULTURE MALIGN (corrupt) at the service of vested interests Justification Development [spiritual, cultural, political, economic]
  24. 24. Lisbon, post 1755: monumental reconstruction
  25. 25. A monument not wanted. Kesennuma City Cultural conflict between the desire to commemorate and the desire to forget.
  26. 26. Town of Gibellina, Belice Valley, Sicily after the 1968 earthquake (Italy) An ambitious "social engineering" project to create a sophisticated post-modern town out of an agricultural settlement.
  27. 27. Conclusions
  28. 28. DEMAND NEEDS POTENTIAL TO BE EXPLOITED SUPPLY CREATION OF A NEW CULTURE OF CIVIL PROTECTION
  29. 29. Resilient culture Culture of resilience
  30. 30. The creation of a culture of civil protection HABIT MASS EDUCATION PROGRAMME CULTURE SOCIAL CAPITAL Augmentation INSTRUMENTS OF DISSEMINATION • mass media • targeted campaign • social networks • internet
  31. 31. "Pandora's box" model of disaster • 'window of opportunity' for bad things • disaster reveals socio-economic ills • amplifies corruption and inequality • disaster acts as a mirror of what is generally wrong with society • hope was at the bottom of the box.
  32. 32. THE PILLARS OF MODERN LIFE Ideocentrism idealism principle belief faith virtue charity service defence of principles Morality Negative fanaticism ultranationalism authoritarianism backlash unscrupulousness corruption opportunism censure PHILOSOPHICAL SPIRIT Positive Luchrocentrism financial repression debt burden consumerism FLESH Technocentrism ingegnuity pragmatism technological progress crass materialism galloping consumption pollution and waste technological hegemony MECHANISTIC capital availability wealth diffusion financial security
  33. 33. Ideocentrism + ideal: effective disaster mitigation - fanaticism: politicization of humanitariam relief Morality + virtue: untiring application of mitigation measures - corruption: failure to observe building codes Luchrocentrism + financial security: monetary reserves vs. disaster - financial repression: poverty --> vulnerability Technocentrism + ingenuity: new hazard monitoring systems - technological hegemony: unfair distribution of mitigation benefits ...culturally conditioned.
  34. 34. david.alexander@ucl.ac uk emergency-planning.blogspot.com www.slideshare.com/dealexander Ishinomaki Thank you for your attention!
  1. A particular slide catching your eye?

    Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.

×