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Early Career Research Award

Land, disasters, and built-environment professionals: Examining urban design for post-disaster reconstruction

Rachel Valbrun,

University College London


This thesis examines the relationships between social processes and built environment practices with land tenure and how they influence vulnerability to and recovery from disasters. It aims to understand how, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, after the 2010 earthquake, urban designs for rebuilding physical space consider, and potentially replicate, vulnerability to disasters. Centre-ville, the historic downtown district of Port-au-Prince, exemplifies these interrelations between land tenure and post-disaster reconstruction. The findings demonstrate how land tenure influences vulnerability and the necessity for urban designers and planners to incorporate a comprehensive understanding of local methods to secure land in reconstruction plans to support recovery.

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Dr Rachel Valbrun

The research team have published several open access articles and other outputs which go into further details of the project: