Sustainable disaster recovery of historic buildings, the case of San Francisco after Loma Prieta earthquake
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Recovery from disaster is a challenging period for any community. Long-term recovery is important, especially in relation to the built heritage, but it is among the least explored phases of disaster. Identifying past problems is needed to reduce future recovery complications. This study investigates the long-term recovery of public and Non-Government Organizations (NGO) owned historic buildings after an earthquake in the light of chosen sustainability variables. It examines San Francisco after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake as a case study and analyzes time needs, community participation, and maintenance of historic character, to identify whether historic buildings faced special issues and the variables involved. The study uses different methods. It statistically compares data for a sample of public and NGO owned buildings in San Francisco and then analyzes the dynamics of recovery for three buildings that faced delays. The study has found that historic buildings faced delays in recovery but such delays were sometimes the results of major rehabilitation projects, thus having long-term benefits. There are many variables in the recovery process that delay historic buildings and can be addressed to reduce future delays, which are mostly results of the context, process, and players. Time needs for the recovery of buildings are affected by their function, damage level, and status. Also, the sustainability of the process needs to be addressed, mainly in terms of the way historic buildings are valued, and the degree to which such valuation allows them to be part of the heritage of the community at large.
Al-Nammari, Fatima M. (2003). Sustainable disaster recovery of historic buildings, the case of San Francisco after Loma Prieta earthquake. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from