Are we planning for sustainable disaster recovery? Evaluating recovery plans after the Wenchuan earthquake

Yan Song, Chaosu Li, Robert Olshansky, Yang Zhang, Yu Xiao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article examines local recovery plans that were created in response to the Wenchuan earthquake and then suggests ways that planners can better apply the concept of sustainability to the recovery process. We utilize a plan evaluation protocol to analyze 16 recovery plans in counties and towns that were severely affected by the earthquake. We also conducted semi-structured interviews with public officials and planners, with the qualitative data gleaned from these interviews being used to supplement the plan quality assessment. The results reveal that local recovery plans do not appear to have incorporated sufficiently the concepts of sustainability. We conclude the paper with the following recommendations: emphasizing sustainability as a policy priority during vision and goal development; developing solid databases and planning techniques; designing a diversified set of regulatory- and incentive-based policy tools suitable for local governments; enhancing social and institutional learning; and further integrating multi-level and interagency governmental units.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages2192-2216
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Environmental Planning and Management
Volume60
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2 2017

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recovery plan
Disasters
disaster
Earthquakes
natural disaster
sustainability
Sustainable development
Planning
Recovery
earthquake
planning
local government
incentive
planning procedure
learning
interview
supplement
town
evaluation
plan

Keywords

  • disaster recovery
  • plan evaluation
  • sustainability
  • Wenchuan earthquake

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Cite this

Are we planning for sustainable disaster recovery? Evaluating recovery plans after the Wenchuan earthquake. / Song, Yan; Li, Chaosu; Olshansky, Robert; Zhang, Yang; Xiao, Yu.

In: Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Vol. 60, No. 12, 02.12.2017, p. 2192-2216.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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