Population Displacement and Housing Dilemmas Due to Catastrophic Disasters

  • Citation: Levine, Joyce N., Ann-Margaret Esnard, and Alka Sapat. “Population Displacement and Housing Dilemmas Due to Catastrophic Disasters.” Journal of Planning Literature 22, no. 1 (August 2007)
    • Topics:
    • Transnational Issues
    • Keywords:
    • emergency management model
    • long-distance displacement
    • shelter
    • housing
    • natural disaster

As Hurricane Katrina revealed, coastal communities have become far more vulnerable to tropical storms and the long-term displacement of residents. Yet, because the emergency management model presumes that recovery quickly follows response, governments focus only on short-term, localized displacement. However, long-term and long-distance displacement exposes a gray area between immediate shelter and permanent housing, along with concerns about vulnerability, housing availability, and land development. We begin this article by discussing the transition between response and recovery. We then review literature regarding social vulnerability, displacement, provision of temporary housing, households’ return decisions, and disaster-driven land development and housing construction processes. We close with thoughts on future research to increase planners’ understanding of the issues involved and to help them craft effective policies.

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