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MCEER Bulletin, Volume 23, Number 1, Spring/Summer 2009

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Volume 23, Number 1, Spring/Summer 2009

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New Project Seeks to Extend Resilience Framework

Resilience LogoA newly-funded project will expand MCEER’s disaster resilience framework to the community level. “A Framework for Defining and Measuring Disaster Resilience at the Community Scale,” funded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), will build on previous MCEER research linking the four resilience properties (robustness, redundancy, resourcefulness, and rapidity) and resilience dimensions (technical, organizational, societal and economic). The project will develop quantitative and qualitative models to measure the disaster resilience of communities in terms of capital assets such as hospitals and asset classes such as health care facilities. Over the longer term, these models will enable the development of decision-support software tools to help planners, key decision makers and stakeholders enhance the disaster resilience of their communities.

The research effort has three main tasks:

Andrei Reinhorn, Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering (CSEE), University at Buffalo (UB), is the principal investigator of the project. Co-PIs at UB include Chris Renschler, Geography, and Michel Bruneau, CSEE. Lucy Arendt, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, an expert in social science and policy, and Gian Paolo Cimellaro, Politecnico di Torino, Italy, an expert in systems engineering, will serve as independent consultants.

Earlier this year, a group of MCEER investigators participated in a NIST-sponsored workshop entitled A Framework for Disaster Resilience. Held April 13, 2009 at NIST headquarters, the workshop afforded participants from NIST and MCEER with an opportunity to exchange information on the concept of disaster resilience and its applications in earthquake engineering. MCEER Director Andre Filiatrault, former MCEER Director Michel Bruneau, and MCEER investigator Andrei Reinhorn made presentations on a variety of topics related to MCEER’s concept of resilience.