6 May 2014

Joint Brookes/Harvard disaster conference marks anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan

Design for Urban Disaster

Oxford Brookes University’s Department of Planning and Harvard University are delivering a joint conference on preparedness and response to urban disaster. The conference takes place from 5th- 7th May 2014 at Harvard University Cambridge, MA, USA.

The event is being organised and chaired by Professor David Sanderson, Director of the Centre for Development and Emergency Practice (CENDEP) at Oxford Brookes and visiting professor of Urban Planning at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. The conference brings together over 150 people including humanitarian aid practitioners, those in government and designers from spatial/physical disciplines to explore ways to improve actions before and after disaster. The conference seeks to address three key themes: response, resilience and transformation. The final day of the conference coincides with the six month anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan and the devastation caused in Tacloban.

A keynote speech will be delivered by Professor Georgia Butina Watson, Head of the Department of Planning, alongside Professor Andrew Natsios, Executive Professor at the George H.W. Bush School of Government at Texas A&M University.

Former Planning student and Brookes alumni, Victoria Stodart, will also be presenting at the event. Victoria is currently employed fulltime as a global shelter advisor for the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC). Victoria’s work also includes researching and advising on regulatory barriers to emergency and transitional shelter after natural disaster.

Commenting on the event, Professor David Sanderson said, “Humanitarians, architects, planners and other designers have critical roles to play in urban disaster recovery. The question is, how do they work better together?”

The event is sponsored by the IFRC and Habitat for Humanity.