SUP-606: Disaster Recovery Management: Rebuilding Cities After a Disaster

Semester: Spring

Credit: 1.0

Faculty: Douglas Ahlers


Day Time Location
First Day 1/26
Meet Day M/W 1:10 PM - 2:30 PM BL-1


Presents disaster recovery theory and practice at the national, state, city, and neighborhood/community levels. The course blends the case method of classroom teaching with client-based team projects working with disaster damaged communities. The lessons learned in the classroom from studying the rebuilding of cities post-disaster will then be applied to current recoveries during the client-based team projects. Recovery cases are the backbone of the course, with cases from Aceh (tsunami), Chile (earthquake and tsunami), New Orleans (Hurricane Katrina), the Gulf Coast Oil Spill, Haiti (earthquake), Japan (tsunami), New York City (Hurricane Sandy), and Christchurch, New Zealand (earthquake), incorporated to broaden the discussion of how recovery varies by place, political system, economic system, type of disaster, and extent of damage. During the semester, students develop and complete real-world, client-based team projects that assist the residents of communities (the Clients) that are recovering from a disaster. Students are assigned to teams, with each team working on one of the following projects: (1) the Recupera Chile Project (recovery of the tsunami and earthquake damaged communities of Dichato, Perales, and Cobquecura in Chile), (2) the City of New Orleans (long-term community recovery of New Orleans neighborhoods), or (3) the Acting in Time Advance Recovery Project (working with the city of San Francisco or the City of Los Angeles to plan in advance of a disaster to be better able to recover after a disaster). The project teams will work on real-world, high impact recovery projects for these "clients" - projects designed to help these communities in their recoveries or their "advance recoveries." Concepts covered in the course include: principles of disaster recovery management, the economics of disaster, risk management, loss estimation, hazard mitigation and land use planning, disaster recovery planning, short and long-term housing, repopulation dynamics, community development, U.S. disaster assistance programs, and infrastructure and capital projects reconstruction management and finance.