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Special Event - Solving Infrastructure Disaster Recovery Problems in Consideration of UN Sustainable Development Goals

Monday, December 6, 2021

All attendees are invited to join this interactive session with breakout discussions on the UN Sustainable Development Goals.  

SDG Promo Slide

Lead Moderators: April Lander, Warren Ladbrook
Breakout Moderators: Bill Kelly, Tom Smith, K.N. Gunalan, Brett Phillips, Robin Kemper, Dennis Truax, Jean-Louis Briaud, Panagiotis Chatzipanos, and Cristina Contreras Casado

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) were agreed in September 2015 and came into effect on 1 January 2016.  Since that time there have been many disasters, and a similar number of efforts to recover.

Ricciardelli et al (2018) indicates that the SDGs are “universal, ambitious, and comprehensive,” before commenting that implementation of the SDGs is not “an easy endeavor… as increasing disaster risks represent an immense challenge to the success of the outcome of SDGs and its target actions.”

Peng et al (2013) has noted that sustainable development requires “balancing reconstruction with economic, environmental, and social considerations,” while Tuhkanen et al (2018) points out that the SDGs require “identification and negotiation of trade-offs and competing interests,” which are not insignificant issues.

One target of the SDGs is the building of resilient cities.  Takeuchi & Tanaka (2016) identify that “In order to build resilient cities, the strategy of building back better, a new focus priority in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, plays a key role.” The opportunity for building back better is most obvious after a disaster requires extensive repair or replacement, and if implemented, can lead to significant, strategic improvement.

Collective lessons learned and potential responses to a variety of different life-like disaster recovery scenarios, crafted to align with different SDGs, were gathered from the experience and knowledge of small virtual groups. Common problems, successful strategies, and other lessons were compiled as recommendations to solve a variety of disaster recovery problems.

Table 1 provides an overview of the virtual break-out group discussion topics, and how these align with the UN SDGs. 

SDG breakout groups















Peng, Y., L. Shen, C. Tan, D. Tan & H. Wang. 2013. Critical determinant factors (cdfs) for developing concentrated rural settlement in post-disaster reconstruction: a China study. English. Natural Hazards 66(2). 355–373.

Ricciardelli, A., F. Manfredi & M. Antonicelli. 2018. Impacts for implementing SDGs: sustainable collaborative communities after disasters. The city of Macerata at the aftermath of the earthquake. English. Corporate Governance (Bingley)18(4). 594–623.

Takeuchi, K. & S. Tanaka. 2016. Recovery from catastrophe and building back better. English. Journal of Disaster Research 11(6). 1190–1201.

Tuhkanen, Heidi, Michael Boyland, Guoyi Han, Anjalee Patel, Karlee Johnson, Arno Rosemarin & Ladylyn Lim Mangada. 2018. A typology framework for trade-offs in development and disaster risk reduction: a case study of typhoon Haiyan recovery in Tacloban, Philippines. Sustainability10(6).


The primary author would like to express appreciation to his family for their support during his concurrent PhD study and other professional obligations.

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