EERI Team to Study Indicators of Recovery in New Zealand

An EERI team is convening in New Zealand this month to observe and understand how stakeholders in the country are measuring, monitoring, and acting upon data-driven indicators of recovery after the Canterbury earthquakes. The team will spend time in Christchurch and Wellington to meet with New Zealand experts about the collection and management of data, including its usefulness; data exchangeability; and limitations for measuring and monitoring all aspects of recovery from the Canterbury earthquake sequence.

Christchurch, New Zealand (2011). Photo by Justin Marshall.The EERI New Zealand team is being led by Scott Miles (M. EERI, 2009), Western Washington University, and includes Chris Poland (M. EERI, 1998), Degenkolb Engineers; Liesel Ritchie (M. EERI, 2012), Natural Hazards Center; Yu Xiao (M. EERI, 2011), Texas A&M University; and Nick Hedley (M. EERI, 2014), Simon Fraser University. The group will be looking at all aspects of the recovery and the team members bring a wide range of expertise including: structural engineering, sociology, social capital, well-being, urban planning, economic development, recovery financing, geography, spatial data, data synthesis, crowd-sourcing and “informal” data, lifelines, urban developments, and schools.

The trip is the first case study as part of an NSF-funded project, “Seismic Observatory for Community Resilience — A Program to Learn from Earthquakes.” The project will help EERI understand the infrastructure necessary to facilitate measuring and monitoring recovery after future earthquakes. The final outcome of the project will be a guideline for establishing a “resilience observatory” after a disaster that includes guidance on how EERI can work with local agencies to help establish these observatories.