Risk and Resilience

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Event at GSD. Professor Jerold Kayden gathered some amazing people including professor of urban planning Diane Davis and the director of the Planning and Development Office of the City of Houston, Patrick Walsh. The topic of the event was the first learnings of the situation caused in Houston by hurricane Harvey. Many things to discuss, but maybe the most amazing is the similarity of the matters that arise from this disaster and the ones that were discussed at the beginning of the year in Peru, due to the floods that our country suffered. Only to name a few, the fact that the same regularity of the huaycos in the Peruvian coast is also found in the floods that Houston faces every year. The participation of the central Government (FEMA and the ministries) for responding to the situation. Also, the discussion about what could the Government and the City have done in relation to the building regulations and the location of the urban settlements. At the same time, the immediate priorities after the disaster when the fire departments and police stations start to collapse, and the way events like these produce an enormous “social capital” by getting the people together to help each other. And the fact that these disasters turned the streets in actual rivers over which people started to use water means of transportation with the only difference that in Houston they were using yachts and jet-skies while in Piura we were using dinosaur shaped pool floats.

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