Resilient Housing and Survivability

Resilient Housing and Survivability

Recent world events are bringing greater awareness to the need for resilient housing.
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Green Builder Media CEO, Sara Gutterman

Green Builder Media

Thursday, May 7, 2015 - 6:00am

CAMPAIGN: Resilient Housing


The devastation from the recent earthquake in Nepal extends far beyond the region’s boundaries—the geological event has shaken the very core of the global community. In its aftermath, this disaster—one in a string of increasingly frequent nature-based tragedies—has brought to light how essential resiliency is to survivability, and how vulnerable and fundamentally unprepared we are for nature’s seemingly endless calamities.

Earlier this week, I spoke with a friend who spent several years in Nepal as an aid worker. Like most of us, she was devastated by the recent earthquake, heartbroken over the loss of precious lives, ancient structures, and priceless relics. She lamented for the country, so rich on spirituality and humanity but so poor in currency, wondering if they’d ever recover.

“When I first moved to Kathmandu,” she said, “the first thing I was given was earthquake evacuation instructions. They’ve known for decades that the ‘big quake’ was going to happen, it was just a matter of when. The projections actually painted an even worse scenario, and many of my colleagues are grateful that the damage wasn’t worse.” Fortunately, the quake happened on a Saturday, Nepal’s national day of rest, which likely prevented thousands of more casualties since kids were out of school and people were outside rather than at home or work.

When I asked her how she thought Nepal was going to rebound from this disaster, she said, “Nepal is an impoverished country with a complex political system and a superstitious culture. They don’t have not enough resources to develop widespread preparedness plans, and cities are so dense that it’s difficult to get to open spaces. Many people there rely on hope and prayer.”


CATEGORY: Environment