Housing Arrays Following Disasters: Social Vulnerability Considerations in Designing Transitional Communities
Displacement and dislocation from homes disrupt fundamental social processes necessary for optimal community functioning. Neighborhood and community social capital, collective efficacy and place attachment are social processes that may be compromised following disaster, conflict, and upheaval. A collaborative approach to the preplanning, design, and creation of temporary and transitional communities following large-scale events is discussed. When architects, planners, and behavioral and health scientists collaborate, preexisting neighborhood social processes can be preserved or even strengthened and can facilitate resilient recovery among vulnerable groups (e.g., elders, children and their care providers, the poor, and underserved minorities). Such a cross-disciplinary, eco-developmental approach should result in more healthful, sustainable, and culturally appropriate individual and community level outcomes for vulnerable subgroups. Observations from housing accommodations following Hurricane Katrina are used to inform future efforts to rebuild neighborhoods following disasters.