Reconstruction after the 2004 tsunami: Ecological and cultural considerations from case studies

Hye Jung Chang, Ryan Hargrove, Yi Xiang Long, Dennis J. Osborne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Design professionals have not often been consulted regarding devastation after natural disasters. Most solutions and techniques of natural disaster-related recovery emphasize infrastructure engineering and food provision. Whereas recovery efforts and basic survival demand that food delivery and movement be facilitated in such areas, issues designers concern themselves with are seldom considered. Designers' focus is on integration of ecological and cultural concerns in planning for disaster recovery. Indeed, after events such as the Southeast Asian tsunami of 2004, societies must start again with few material objects but with an extensive cultural consciousness. This paper addresses the role that designers play in such a situation. It is suggested how designers and other professionals can facilitate a series of best practices in disaster recovery. Overviews of large-scale disasters from three countries show how cultural and ecological considerations are the two elements most needed in disaster planning, both pre and post-event. Suggestions are made about how these elements may be best incorporated into future eco-culturally-based recovery efforts. Evaluation of design precedents used to renovate the natural and built environment is a positive and necessary framework for recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-51
Number of pages11
JournalLandscape and Ecological Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2006


  • Earthquake
  • Flood
  • Hurricane
  • Natural disaster
  • Reconstruction
  • Tsunami

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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