Awotona’s Book on Post-Disaster Reconstruction Chosen as Critics’ Choice Book of the Month
December 17, 2012
McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies
Cambridge Scholars Publishing, an academic publisher in England, has selected the edited collection by Adenrele Awotona, Rebuilding Sustainable Communities with Vulnerable Populations after the Cameras have Gone, as their Critics’ Choice title for their January Book of the Month newsletter.
According to Stephanie Cavanagh, an editor at the publishing house, Awotona’s book was chosen “due to its strong sales and excellent reviews.”
Praised as “a very much needed contribution to the analysis and procurement of resources needed when catastrophes occur,” retired Professor of Architecture William Frank Hill who lives in Surrey, England is one of many international experts who endorses the 513-page scholarly volume for its expert advice and innovative research. Gulsun Saglamer from Istanbul Technical University agrees adding that she “strongly recommend(s) this book to researchers, professionals, managers and everyone who are potential victims of disasters and who have to create awareness, understanding and actions in emergency planning and response.”
Awotona is director of the Center for Rebuilding Sustainable Communities after Disasters (CRSCAD), the world’s only multidisciplinary center dedicated to raising awareness and possessing the expertise necessary for long-term sustainable reconstruction after disasters with a focus on vulnerable populations. Beyond earthquakes and severe weather-related events, the center offers professional trainings and practical knowledge for other disasters framed by bad governance and poverty, environmental pollution, HIV/AIDS, wars and conflicts, large-scale attacks on civilian populations, technological catastrophes, and influenza pandemics.
As part of its mission to develop practical, sustainable and long-term solutions to the social, economic, and environmental consequences of disasters, the center provides multiple ways to train local, national, and international professionals and students interested in joining this important field of disaster planning and relief. In addition to four graduate and professional development certificates offered through UMass Boston’s College of Advancing and Professional Studies, CRSCAD regularly hosts international conferences and workshops that bring together representatives from government, humanitarian and disaster relief organizations, the nonprofit and non-governmental sectors, researchers, and first responders as well as students of global post disaster studies to exchange ideas, best practices, and lessons learned to build a worldwide community that is better informed and enabled to prepare for, respond to, and finally rebuild sustainable communities after disasters.
“A key focus of these trainings is always on the full participation of vulnerable populations —women, children, people with disabilities, the elderly, the poor —in planning for disaster response and mitigation as well as post–disaster rebuilding. This book was an outgrowth of three of our conferences from 2008-2010 devoted to rebuilding communities for children and families, the elderly and disabled, and post-earthquake Haiti,” noted Awotona in a recent interview about the book.
Established in 2008, this small McCormack Graduate School research center has quickly grown and spread its reputation beyond the boundaries of our harbor campus. With partnerships including the US Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and international nonprofits like the Earthspark International (formerly InterIntel ) and United Planet, CRSCAD collaborates with many entities large and small in the US and globally. Past conferences and workshops have focused on China, Haiti, Iraq, and Japan.
Expanding into the field of architectural design, planning, and engineering education, Professor Awotona is excited to return to his roots. He was a former member of the Design and Planning Selection Board of the City-Parish of East Baton Rouge. He was also an educator at the annual American Institute of Architects National Conventions for several years. Similarly, he has been a member of the US National Architectural Accrediting Board’s international review team.
With colleagues from the Boston Architectural College and Roger Williams University’s School of Architecture, CRSCAD’s May 2013 conference will explore and examine how disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, and sustainable reconstruction after disasters will be addressed in the context of architectural, planning and engineering education. Representatives of regulatory agencies, professional associations, foundations, and academia are encouraged to attend to discuss curricular opportunities and joint degree programs for schools with appropriate expertise in the topic.
“In the near future, I hope that CRSCAD will join other institutions of higher education to offer short online courses, continuing education options, and other types of curricula for schools in countries most vulnerable to catastrophic disasters. CRSCAD’s expertise and experience in offering online certificate courses in global post-disaster reconstruction and emergency management will help to cement our international leadership and reputation in this field.”
The book, Rebuilding Sustainable Communities with Vulnerable Populations after the Cameras have Gone, is available worldwide through Amazon, Blackwell, and Ingram. (ISBN: 9781443837392 Hardback $82.99)
More about the book
Learn more about the Center for Rebuilding Sustainable Communities after Disasters
Academic offerings through College of Advanced and Professional Studies
Global Post-Disaster Studies: Reconstruction with Vulnerable Populations Graduate Certificate