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Va. Tech_GFURR at Davos


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5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice 24-28 August 2014 in Davos, Switzerland

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Va. Tech_GFURR at Davos

  1. 1. Building A Common Language Around Disaster Resilience Mohsen Ghafory-Ashtiany Christopher W. Zobel C. Guney Olgun Yang Zhang Robert Weiss Margaret Cowell Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  2. 2. Integrated Disaster RISK MANAGEMENT Human, Economic and Social Losses Disaster Risk Built Environment Vulnerability Hazard Potential Risk Reduction Sustainable Development
  3. 3. Key Concept in IDRiM: Working Together SUCCESS IN Risk Reduction Geoscientist Geotechnical Failure in Risk Reduction and Foundation Engineers Socio-economist Planners, and Managers Architectural, Structural and Mechanical Engineers Professionals, Government, and End USERS FACT: No Scientist or Organization Can Solve The Problem by Working Alone Geotechnical and Foundation Engineers Architectural, Structural and Mechanical Engineers Geoscientist Professionals, Government, and End USERS Socio-economist Planners and Managers
  4. 4. Motivation  Unsustainable rise in global disaster losses  New kinds of threats and vulnerabilities are emerging - presenting new resiliency challenges  Solutions require From This Approach To This a transdisciplinary approach: problems are too complex for a single entity or discipline on its own
  5. 5. Disaster Related Centers & Institutes at VT • Center for Community Security and Resilience • Center for Extreme Load Effects on Structures • Center for Geospatial Information Technology • Center for Geotechnical Practice and Research • Center for Technology, Security and Policy • Coastal Hazards and Engineering at Environmental and Water Resources Engineering Program • Critical Infrastructure Modeling and Assessment Program at the Center for Energy and the Global Environment • Disaster Risk Reduction Program at the Advanced Research Institute • Emergency Communications and Disaster Recovery Research Focus of eCorridors Program • Institute for Society, Culture and Environment (Social Complexity and Individual Risk, Global Issues Initiative) • Interdisciplinary Graduate Education Program in Disaster Resilience • Metropolitan Institute • Office of International Research, Education, and Development • Real-time and Automated Monitoring and Control Lab • The Institute for Policy and Governance • Virginia Cooperative Extension • Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine International and Appalachian Outreach • Virginia Tech Global Seismological Lab • Virginia Tech Seismological Observatory • Virginia Water Resources Research Center
  6. 6. Resilience and GFURR  Resilience is one of the key research areas in Virginia Tech’s strategic plan  The Global Forum on Urban and Regional Resilience (GFURR) at Va. Tech has been established to bring experts from Virginia Tech and partner organizations to expand concepts of resilience and fulfill Va. Tech Strategy.  Objective: To establish a holistic and integrated characterization of disaster resilience that can bridge the gaps between disciplines, and thus provide a common language through which new and innovative perspectives may develop to find solutions to the growing impacts of disaster events
  7. 7. Resilience and GFURR  Resilience has become an important concept in planning and policy globally in response to new vulnerabilities resulting from climate change; economic, social and political instabilities; and population expansion into places where the potential for human disruptions from natural events is heightened.  The conceptual complexity of resilience and its relevance to constructing places that enhance the social well-being of citizens in a future of increase uncertainty and vulnerability, requires integrating physical, social and behavioral perspectives in ways that put fresh lens on and new critiques in order to increase our knowledge base on the concept.
  8. 8. Resilience and GFURR GFURR aims to add to the knowledge base on resilience by:  Facilitating global conversations by scholars and practitioners with significantly different perspectives and responsibilities on resilience to explore new conceptual and methodology dimensions  Facilitating multi-disciplinary research on under- and unexplored dimensions of resilience for the purpose of expanding our understanding of resilience in a global context  Encouraging the establishment of trans-disciplinary educational and training curriculum in resilience to ensure that future practitioners and researchers have a wide-reaching viewpoint of resilience
  9. 9. Resilience and GFURR GFURR aims to add to the knowledge base on resilience by:  Connecting research and practitioner communities through the establishment of living lab environments in both urban and rural settings in ways that define new approaches  Encouraging new theoretical and analytical approaches to the study of resilience and its translation to practice globally
  10. 10. Resilience and GFURR GFURR believes a resilience research and practice focus should include address the following questions:  What are the normative and ethical issues associated with creating socially equitable resilient environments?  What are the major barriers to creating socially equitable resilient places given differences in socio-cultural contexts across the globe?  How might new analytics, big data approaches, contribute to building socially equitable resilient places?  What are the appropriate roles for technology in constructing socially equitable resilient places?  What are the appropriate roles for governments, non-profits and the private sector in constructing socially equitable resilient places?
  11. 11. Project Team • Faculty from four colleges at Virginia Tech + international faculty collaborator – Science - tsunami impacts – Business - decision support systems – Architecture and Urban Studies - community resilience – Engineering - earthquake engineering / policy • Project sponsors: – Graduate School at Virginia Tech – Institute for Society, Culture and Environment – Global Issues Initiative – Global Forum on Urban and Regional Resilience •
  12. 12. Approach / Methodology Step 1: Identify discipline-specific approaches to quantifying disaster resilience Step 2: Compare and contrast disciplinary approaches to find: – Areas of overlap – Gaps where important aspects are not defined Step 3: Leverage overlaps and fill gaps to develop shared terminology and context (i.e., a common language)
  13. 13. Initial implementation Interdisciplinary Graduate Education Program in Disaster Resilience • Interdisciplinary Study: Principles of Disaster Risk Management – Team-taught course – Case-study-based approach • Focus on transdisciplinary approaches for improving resilience - will expose students from the social sciences to basic risk analysis skills, and those in natural sciences and engineering to key social and cultural impacts (
  14. 14. Questions? Thank you!