Miscellaneous News

Tuesday, 06 August 2013 14:11

Call for Proposals | Planning for and Recovering from Urban Disasters

Volume Editors:  Pierre Filion (University of Waterloo), Mark Skidmore (Michigan State University) and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Wayne State University)


Disasters – sudden cataclysmic events, resulting in property damage and loss of life – appear to be occurring with increasing frequency and intensity.  This can be attributed, in part, to global growth in urbanization.  As the number and size of cities increases, the potential and importance of these events also increases; flooding that destroys a city has greater impact than one that only destroys crops.


Despite more frequent occurrences, efforts to better anticipate disasters have been limited.  Moreover, once the disaster has occurred, the effectiveness of recovery efforts is often inadequate.  The proposed book will contribute to the understanding of the relationship between disasters and how cities prepare for, and recover from, them.


The editors envision the book will have two primary organizational dimensions. The first is temporal, with the disaster event at the center.  We are interested in papers that address what cities do to prepare for disasters and what occurs in subsequent recovery efforts.  (We do not anticipate that the book will include papers dealing exclusively with actual disaster events.)  The planning and preparation for the disaster may focus on risk assessment, cost-benefit analysis, and other aspects.  Of particular interest would be papers that consider how emerging disaster risks (new pandemics, terrorism) are evaluated and addressed.  Papers dealing with post-disaster recovery may include analysis of choices with respect to rebuilding (where, what), the pace of recovery efforts or policy changes (including new codes and ordinances that are adopted to mitigate future damage).


The second organizational dimension is the continuum that runs from disasters brought on by natural events (hurricanes, earthquakes) to disasters brought on by human action (terrorism).  Given the urban focus of this book, this dimension will address disasters that occur at the nexus of human and natural activity.  Thus, papers dealing with primarily natural phenomena (drought, climate change) will be considered only if they address ways that these events affect urban populations.  Comparative studies (before and after, successful and unsuccessful, primarily human and primarily natural events, international cases) are encouraged.


This volume will be part of the Global Urban Studies series, edited by Laura A. Reese (Michigan State University) for Ashgate Press.  Volumes in this series are international and interdisciplinary in content.  Individual papers may provide comparative analyses, case studies, risk analyses, policy and theoretical analyses.


Papers should be no more than 40 double spaced pages, including tables, figures and citations.


Interested authors should submit an abstract, of no more than 300 words, that describes the proposed research questions, data, and methodology, along with an outline of the proposed paper and a brief summary of the authors’ qualifications.  This material should be submitted by September 15, 2013.  The editors will respond to each proposal by October 15, 2013.  The deadline for submitting the completed paper is March 15, 2014.


Proposals should be submitted to Professor Gary Sands at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Authors may contact any of the editors of this volume with questions.

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