Preparedness, Management, Recovery and the Role of Planning
“In the framework of response and recovery, there is a large difference between the terms emergency and disaster. An emergency is an event that can be responded to using the resources available at hand, implying that there is no need to request external assistance. A disaster, on the other hand, is characterised by impacts that overwhelm the capacities of local responders and place demands on resources which are not available locally. Hence, an event is declared as a “disaster” when there is a need for external assistance to cope with its impacts. A national government declares a state of disaster or national calamity as a way to request international humanitarian assistance and the support of the international community to cope with the impacts of the disaster.”
(Emergency and Disaster Management | UN-SPIDER Knowledge Portal (un-spider.org))
Emergencies, disasters, diseases are happening all the time, natural ones and human made ones. They cause a lot of trouble for those that are hit, but usually such “events” have a limited geographical outreach and intensity of impacts.
As tragic as the effects may be for those affected, it is usually possible to overcome the corresponding crises by bundling resources and external help and return to a "normal life" after a foreseeable period.
What we have seen during the last year with this global pandemic is unprecedented in recent history. In 2020 the COVID19 pandemic unsettled life profoundly worldwide. First there was hope that all the troubles would be over after a few weeks, then months; then during summer 2020 we had to face the reality that we would still be in the midst of this pandemic in 2021 and not know how long it would last and what impacts it will have in the end. There is talk of a “new normality” to which we would have to get used.
Many economic sectors are hit very hard, i. e. the travel industry, gastronomy, hospitality, culture … – how to get out of the current unbearable situation?
How do these dramatic events impact life and development in cities and regions? Which changes are temporary, which will remain? What does the current situation mean for international travel and exchange, how about the impacts on globalisation?
- Life before, during and after the Pandemic – will there be a “New Normal”?
- Social contacts and spatial distancing
- Home office, distance learning, remote relationships, virtual events,… - opportunities and limitations, impacts on mobility and social behaviour
- Life and Love in times of pandemics
- Total surveillance under the pretext of crisis prevention?
- Health and the Economy: Impacts of protective measures, lockdowns, reduced interactions on the economy? What about changes in social behaviour?
- The future of travel and tourism
- The future of cultural events, conferences, fairs, …
- Influence of density and settlement patterns on risk of virus distribution and spreading
- The role of spatial planning in preparation, management and recovery of disasters
- Apart from climate change, which is bound to be our primary concern in the next few decades: Are there other dormant dangers for which we should be prepared?