4th International Conference on Building Resilience

Incorporating the 3rd Annual Meeting of the ANDROID Network

9 – 11 September 2014, Media City, University of Salford, Salford, United Kingdom

Organised by

Centre for Disaster Resilience, University of Salford, United Kingdom

Global Disaster Resilience Centre, University of Huddersfield, United Kingdom

ANDROID Disaster Resilience Network

In association with:

The conference is entitled Exploring the concept of resilience as a useful framework of analysis for how society can cope with the threat of natural and human induced hazards.

The risks and vulnerabilities exposed by natural hazards and disasters are on the rise globally, and the impacts are severe and widespread: extensive loss of life, particularly among vulnerable members of a community; economic losses, hindering development goals; destruction of the built and natural environment, further increasing vulnerability; and, widespread disruption to local institutions and livelihoods, disempowering the local community. Rising population and infrastructures, particularly in urban areas, has significantly increased disaster risk, amplified the degree of uncertainty, challenged emergency arrangements and raised issues regarding their appropriateness.

What is becoming equally apparent, however, is the importance of resilience - not only in the structures that humans design and build, but in the way society perceives, copes with, and reshapes lives after the worst has happened: to use change to better cope with the unknown.

Despite resilience having been widely adopted in research, policy and practice to describe the way in which they would like to reduce our society’s susceptibility to the threat posed by such hazards, there is little consensus regarding what resilience is, what it means to society, and perhaps most importantly, how societies might achieve greater resilience in the face of increasing threats from natural and human induced hazards.

The 4th International Conference on Building Resilience, Incorporating the 3rd Annual Conference of the ANDROID Disaster Resilience Network, explores the concept of resilience as a useful framework of analysis for how society can cope with the threat of hazards, helping to understand the attributes that enable physical, socio-cultural, politico-economic and natural systems to adapt, by resistance or changing in order to reach and maintain an acceptable level of functioning. The conference themes include but are not limited to:

1. Resilience

  • Conceptual understanding of resilience
  • Overall systems resilience
  • Measurement of resilience

2. Built environment

  • Structural mitigation
  • Infrastructure
  • Sustainable development
  • Shelter and housing

3. Communication

  • Community engagement and participation
  • Inter-disciplinary working and partnerships
  • Digital media
  • Knowledge management

4. Disaster risk

  • Multi-hazard scenarios
  • Risk assessment, monitoring and evacuation

5. Healthcare facilities, infrastructure and system resilience planning

  • Emergency planning and disaster response
  • Community resilience planning for emergency preparedness
  • Social determinants of health
  • Health and wellbeing of disadvantaged and socio-economically excluded populations
  • Health system resiliency planning

6. Social resilience

  • Livelihoods
  • Social protection and vulnerability
  • Social support processes
  • People, displacement and security

7. Governance

  • Local government and disaster risk reduction
  • National planning
  • Role of NGOs
  • Evidence based policymaking

8. Education

  • Capacity building
  • Lifelong learning

The Conference organisers were delighted to welcome four keynote addresses by leading academics and practitioners: Jerry Velasquez, Chief of the Advocacy and Communications Section and Head of the Making Cities Resilient Campaign of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR); Dan Lewis, Chief of Urban Risk Reduction, UN-Habitat, Kenya; Professor Siri Hettige, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka; and, Adjunct Professor, RMIT University, Australia; Professor Janaka Ruwanpura, Vice-Provost (International), University of Calgary, Canada. These keynote addresses provide a global perspective and vision for disaster resilience research.

The 2014 event was the fourth in a series of conferences aimed at increasing societal resilience to disasters.

The conference was held in association with the 3rd Annual Conference of the ANDROID Disaster Resilience Network. ANDROID is an Erasmus academic network that aims to promote co-operation and innovation among European Higher Education to increase society’s resilience to disasters of human and natural origin with 68 partners across 38 countries. Associate partners  of the network are over 200. The network’s teaching and research is concerned with what resilience is, what it means to society, and how societies might achieve greater resilience in the face of increasing threats from natural and human induced hazards. The network is creating a European approach that will help us understand the attributes that enable physical, socio-cultural, politico-economic and natural systems to adapt, by resistance or changing, in order to reach and maintain an acceptable level of functioning. The network is also raising awareness and promoting a common understanding among stakeholders of the importance of disaster resilience education and the essential role of European HEIs in improving society’s ability to increase disaster resilience. The conference constituted the third Annual Conference of the network, following previous events in Estonia and Cyprus.

Another unique feature of the conference is the publication of the Procedia Finance and Economics of Elsevier publishing. This will be available open access, from early October. 120 peer reviewed papers will be included in this procedia.

2014 conference has strong links with the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) "Making Cities Resilient: My City is Ready" campaign. We greatly value this relationship, which provides a means to bring together and promote exchange between research, policy and practice. 

In addition, we were delighted that on the evening of 8th September, to mark the start of the conference, representatives from each of the 10 authorities which form Greater Manchester will be attending the official signing ceremony to lend their support to the Making Cities Resilient campaign.

The conference book of abstracts is available at : http://www.buildresilience.org/2014/post/index.html

Global Disaster Resilience Centre Conference Abstracts

University Huddersfield News on the conference is available at : http://www.hud.ac.uk/research/researchcentres/gdrc/latestnews/4thinternationalconferenceonbuildingresiliencegreatsuccess.php

Further information on the conference is available at : www.buildresilience.org/2014

Conference Chairs for further information can be contacted as follows:

Professor Dilanthi Amaratunga : d.amaratunga@hud.ac.uk

Professor Richard Haigh : r.haigh@hud.ac.uk