Designing to Heal: Planning and Urban Design Response to Disaster and Conflict. Jenny Donovan. Price: AU$99.95 Paperback 320 pages ISBN: 9780643106468
How much does the way your world is made have a direct impact on your wellbeing and, in the case of disaster, chances of recovery? Plenty of Australians have been forced to confront the devastating aftermath of fire and floods. For people in other parts of the world, earthquakes, famines, floods, pandemics and wars (declared and undeclared) have left a permanent scar on the physical and social landscape. But can your designed environment help you recover from the trauma?
This new book from CSIRO PUBLISHING establishes a vital link between the way our places and communities are put together, with health, happiness and people’s ability to respond to disaster. Author urban designer Jenny Donovan says that the initial idea for the book grew not from an international-scale disaster but a colleague’s discovery of wreaths notes and toys in the abandoned ward of a children’s hospital. From this, it was decided there needed to be a memorial garden, a place where people could deal with profoundly important things.
The book includes powerful case studies, which include New York’s 9/11, a volcanic disaster in Montserrat, the ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland, the 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka, and the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria. These studies examine the ways in which the man-made environment and rebuilding process has impacted on local people and communities, and their ability to recover.