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Community Resilience in Christchurch: Adaptive responses and capacities during earthquake recovery


Paton, D and Mamula Seadon, l and Selway, k, Community Resilience in Christchurch: Adaptive responses and capacities during earthquake recovery, GNS Science, 37 (2013) [Contract Report]

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The MW6.3 Christchurch earthquake that struck at 12:51pm local time on 22 February 2012, caused 185 deaths, over 7000 injuries and in excess of US$12 billion in damage to the Canterbury region. The Christchurch earthquake occurred approximately six months after the 4 September 2010 MW7.1 Darfield earthquake, the epicentre of which was 20km west of the city. There were no deaths and few major injuries from the September 2010 event, but property losses were in excess of $US 4 billion. This report discusses the responses to these challenges and explores the resources and relationships that those affected by earthquake consequences identified as contributing to differences in community responses to recovery demands and to their recovery. It discusses how several person/household, neighbourhood, community, and societal level factors acted, individually and collectively, to influence the development of community response to the 2011 Christchurch earthquakes and aftershocks. The report also discusses the demands and challenges that changed over time for Christchurch residents and businesses during the response and recovery cycles experienced by people affected by the series of earthquakes/aftershocks in Christchurch in 2011. Data were collected in June and July 2011. The timing of the data collection increased the validity of the findings as it allowed tapping into some experiences of aftershocks and thus into the complex, unique and repeated response recovery cycles presented by this event. Key issues include: •Recognition of a lack of preparedness and the need for better household and community preparedness at physical (structural, survival), social and relationship levels. •Recognition of the importance of psychological preparedness and a need for it to be developed and integrated with other public education and community engagement readiness and recovery strategies. •The individual, community and relationship factors identified as facilitating resilience (e.g., hope, efficacy, collective efficacy, active participation, leadership, ability to represent needs to agencies) are discussed. •‘Community’ played several roles in response and recovery in different ways and with different levels of social coherence. Most people reported that neighbourhood groups emerged in response to the need to meet survival and response needs. However, these groups did not necessary transition into effective recovery resources. Some did, but most dissipated after the immediate crisis had diminished (they did resurrect after the significant aftershock in June and subsequently). •Social networks that facilitated the development of a sense of community emerged in several ways with some developing from existing relationships and others emerging from a need to deal with local response issue. •The development of ‘community’ during recovery was influenced by structural factors such as socioeconomic status and whether social networks were built around locational (geographically centred) versus relational (based on shared interests rather than geography) communities

Item Details

Item Type:Contract Report
Keywords:Community, Resilience, Christchurch, Earthquake, Response, Recovery
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Social and personality psychology
Research Field:Social psychology
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Natural hazards
Objective Field:Natural hazards not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Paton, D (Professor Douglas Paton)
ID Code:89172
Year Published:2013
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2014-02-26
Last Modified:2014-06-06
Downloads:19 View Download Statistics

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