Life in the Face of Death

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  • Title: Life in the Face of Death: A Role for Landscape Architecture in Post-disaster Greening
  • Author(s): Kate Blackburne, Mike Barthelmeh
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Spaces & Flows
  • Journal Title: Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies
  • Keywords: Resilience, Post-disaster Greening, Social Well-being
  • Volume: 9
  • Issue: 1
  • Year: 2018
  • ISSN: 2154-8676 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2154-8684 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2154-8676/CGP/v09i01/51-62
  • Citation: Blackburne, Kate , and Mike Barthelmeh. 2018. "Life in the Face of Death: A Role for Landscape Architecture in Post-disaster Greening." Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies 9 (1): 51-62. doi:10.18848/2154-8676/CGP/v09i01/51-62.
  • Extent: 12 pages

Abstract

n February 2011, Christchurch in New Zealand suffered a series of devastating earthquakes which killed 185 people and transformed the city centre into a wasteland. Such disasters test the physical structure and social cohesion of communities; post-disaster recovery and rebuilding efforts must therefore re-establish and nurture social well-being, as well as reconstructing the built environment. We discuss how the action of “greening” for environmental transformation in post-disaster landscapes can play a significant role in rebuilding social capital and how community-based organisations responded to the disaster by re-injecting life and culture into the city through temporary installations and “greening” projects. Landscape architects were involved in large and complex urban earthquake-recovery projects but also contributed to or led many smaller-scale greening projects. We suggest that the landscape architect’s role in a post-disaster scenario is as important at the community facilitation level as it is in contributing to larger-scale infrastructure redevelopment.