the story of Rebuild By Design, a competition – and now its own organisation – based on taking a more proactive approach to disaster response in cities; but how far can you prepare for the effects of climate change?
Ten years ago, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg released a plan to create what he called “the first environmentally sustainable 21st-century city”. The blueprint, known as PlaNYC and released on Earth Day, outlined more than 100 projects and policies to create that sustainable city by 2030.
It set a precedent for local action on climate change; cities around the world began drafting their own sustainability plans. But then in October 2012, it got a harsh reality check.
Marissa Aho recently became Los Angeles’ chief resilience officer. In a city prone to earthquakes, reliant on imported water and suffering a housing shortage, how could the city survive and recover after a catastrophe?
On the list of existential threats to Los Angeles, earthquakes rank highest. With dozens of fault lines running beneath and around the metropolitan area, the ever-looming threat of the Big One is a not-so-quiet concern in the back of most people’s heads. The last major earthquake to hit the region was the 6.7-magnitude Northridge earthquake in 1994, which killed 57 people and caused billions of dollars worth of damage. Many predict that an even stronger earthquake is increasingly likely to strike by mid-century.