The topic of disaster in urban landscapes—preparedness, response and recovery—has gained increasing visibility in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy. Penn IUR aims to promote and further understanding of this critical issue through its publications and conferences.
To this end, Penn IUR has published a series of books about disaster in urban landscapes through its City in the 21st Century Book Series, published in partnership with Penn Press. In 2011, it published “My Storm: Managing the Recovery of New Orleans in the Wake of Katrina,”, written by Edward Blakely, Professor of Urban and Regional Planning Policy and Director of the Planning Research Centre at the University of Sydney, Australia and formerly the Executive Director of Recovery Management for the City of New Orleans.
In 2006, Penn IUR Co-Directors Genie Birch and Susan Wachter published “Rebuilding Urban Places After Disaster: Lessons from Hurricane Katrina.” The book, which grew out of a 2006 conference hosted by Penn IUR and Provost Ronald Daniels, examines the rebuilding of cities and their environs after a disaster and focuses on four major issues: making cities less vulnerable to disaster, reestablishing economic viability, responding to the permanent needs of the displaced, and recreating a sense of place.