Recovery Capacity: To Build Back Better

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The ambition to Build Back Better after a serious flood disaster is a complex challenge. A comprehensive, multi-disciplinary redevelopment planning process is required to reduce the flood risk and meanwhile create sustainable solutions that bring added value to society every day. General planning principles can be formulated on how to develop the physical conditions for flood resilience, while building a better place to live and work. Scoping and the charrette method are to be applied for pairing and integrating disciplinary results, to co-create Better plans in an interdisciplinary planning process. Two disaster recovery cases in Japan, after the 2011 Tohoku tsunami, and one case on Grand Bahama, after 2019 hurricane Dorian, were studied by multidisciplinary teams of students and staff to investigate in how far Building Back Better was, or is to be, realized. This was done by confronting the practice of the reconstruction process and the resulting plans with the guiding principles for the physical concepts and interdisciplinary planning approach. Practice shows that Building Back Better is suffering from a lack of integration of disciplinary solutions, guided by existing planning regulations and practices and driven by the need for flood safety and by the urgency of the reconstruction works.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationClimate resilient urban areas Governance, design and development in coastal delta cities
EditorsRutger De Graaf-Van Dinther
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave MacMillan
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-57537-3
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-57536-6
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Recovery capacity
  • Build Back Better
  • Multidisciplinary approaches
  • Spatial planning
  • Guiding principles
  • Flood risk reduction

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