EERI Team Visits New Zealand

In September, a team of EERI members and colleagues visited the areas of New Zealand affected by the 2010 and 2011 Canterbury earthquakes. The New Zealand field visit was part of an initiative to document Building Back Better practices being developed by the European Union, the United Nations Development Program’s Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, and the World Bank’s Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) external link icon.

Global Facility for Disaster Risk Reduction of the World BankThe following EERI members traveled to New Zealand for the field visit: Scott Miles (M. EERI, 2009), Western Washington University, and Dana Brechwald (M. EERI, 2013), Association of Bay Area Governments. The following experts also joined the team: Katalin Demeter, GFDRR, World Bank; Rachel Davidson (M. EERI, 1995), University of Delaware on sabbatical at the University of Canterbury; David Johnston (M. EERI, 2013), GNS Science and Massey University; Stefano Pampanin (M. EERI, 2011), University of Canterbury and, President, New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering; Sarah Beaven and Sonia Giovinazzi, University of Canterbury; Suzanne Wilkinson, Sandeeka Mannakkara, and Tinu Rose, University of Auckland.

The team aimed to track Building Back Better practices that led to successful outcomes with a specific emphasis on housing, land-use planning, insurance, commerce, the seismic design code, and infrastructure. The field visit was comprised of a series of interviews with government and non-government officials, interviews of the resident population in reconstructed and resettled locations, as well as an informal survey of the building structures in the central business district.

The New Zealand field visit was funded by a grant agreement between EERI and the GFDRR at the World Bank. A report on the Building Back Better practices and lessons learned will be available early next year.