Population growth, urbanization and climate change expose increasing numbers of people to natural hazards in urban areas. From New Orleans in 2005 to Port-au-Prince, Haiti in 2010, recent urban disasters in developing and developed countries have drawn attention to challenges in post-disaster reconstruction of urban areas. On October 6, the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement and Habitat for Humanity International hosted a discussion on the challenges of urban disaster recovery, focusing on shelter and housing, urban planning, long-term reconstruction, and disaster risk reduction as components in disaster- and climate-proofing our cities.
Panelists included Jonathan Reckford, chief executive officer of Habitat for Humanity International; Brookings Senior Fellow Amy Liu, co-director of the Metropolitan Policy Program; Abhas Jha, lead urban specialist and regional coordinator for disaster risk management at the World Bank; Maggie Stephenson, senior technical advisor for Haiti at UN-HABITAT; and Charles Setchell, senior shelter, settlements, and hazard mitigation advisor at USAID. Senior Fellow Elizabeth Ferris, co-director of the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement, provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion. After the program, panelists took audience questions.