UMass Boston Professor Contributes to Deliberations on Post-War Reconstruction in Iraqi-Kurdistan

Center for Rebuilding Sustainable Communities after Disasters | March 07, 2017
UMass Boston Professor Contributes to Deliberations on Post-War Reconstruction in Iraqi-Kurdistan



They should conceive groundbreaking strategies and employ the latest technologies to organize ... for sustainable growth



Professor Adenrele Awotona, director of the Center for Rebuilding Sustainable Communities after Disasters at UMass Boston’s McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, delivered the plenary speech at the late February Construction Forum held in Erbil, the capital city of Iraqi-Kurdistan. The Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Ministry of Construction and Housing in partnership with Salahaddin University-Erbil (SU-E) invited Awotona to help explore how innovative construction technologies could be used to expedite the development of the Kurdistan region.

His speech, “Rebuilding Sinjar As If People Mattered,” examined post-war reconstruction in Kurdistan in the wake of the massive destruction of towns and cities by the Islamic State, especially Sinjar, the home of the Yazidis, which the Iraqi parliament unanimously declared a ruined city in April last year.

Awotona proposed that “post-war reconstruction presents us with an opportunity to re-think and re-imagine the type of city needed in tomorrow’s Kurdistan.” He called for whole-community and people-centered approaches to rebuilding legal, social, health, economic, small business, housing, and education infrastructures through public- and private-sector partnerships.

Furthermore, Awotona emphasized that in rebuilding the war-ravaged metropolises, city planners and technocrats would need to be forward-thinking. He said, "They should conceive groundbreaking strategies and employ the latest technologies to organize for the rebuilt cities’ sustainable growth so that millions of Iraqis could live together, securely, and successfully. This means that novel building codes, highlighting sustainability and building 'greener,' should be developed and strictly enforced."

In attendance were the deputy prime minister and all KRG cabinet ministers, representatives of the United Nations, senior government officials, construction industry professionals, academics as well as the Salahaddin University-Erbil president.

Awotona also conducted a seminar for university students and faculty of architecture and civil engineering on their roles in rebuilding after disasters.

 

The Center for Rebuilding Sustainable Communities after Disasters, an affiliate of the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, is the only institution of its kind dedicated to raising awareness and possessing the expertise necessary for long-term sustainable reconstruction. Center associates engage in multidisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and cross-disciplinary research activities and provide expert advice and training to communities which have been devastated by disasters. Also, through the College of Advancing and Professional Studies, CRSCAD offers several academic programs on post-disaster studies and emergency management.

Tags: adenrele awotona , caps , center for rebuilding sustainable communities after disasters , emergency management studies , local and global disasters , mccormack graduate school , research

Comment on this story

Comments (4)

Posted by Dr Ravi Katherashala | April 18, 2017 - 1:45 a.m.

It is true that all the stakeholders of planning should conceive groundbreaking strategies and employ the latest technologies to organize for the rebuilt cities’ sustainable growth and at the same time smart cities concept to use maximum latest technology available in the society. Professor Adenrele Awotona rightly stressed the need of opening several academic programs courses on post disaster studies and emergency management.


Posted by Flora Onakoya | March 22, 2017 - 7:51 a.m.

This is a very good work you are doing, professor. I can see that you’ve put in a lot of energy into raising awareness on these disaster areas. I must say however that I am surprised that the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global studies is the only institution possessing expertise for long term sustainable reconstruction after disasters. Why is this so? Are world leaders helping to reconstruct these areas to encourage rehabilitation?


Posted by Eduardo Gutiérrez | March 09, 2017 - 9:27 a.m.

Very interesting. His proposal of reconstruction thinking is a vision toward the future, according to what the population in general wishes. I think this is positive because it achieves the unity of different ethnicities in decision-making and forging their future.
Another strong point of its presentation is the one referring to a new city sustained on new technologies for the construction and mainly sustainable with green energy.
In general terms I like the approach that starts from a positive vision when considering as a great opportunity the reconstruction of cities, applying all these elements that allow positive social coexistence and thus reduce the potential for new conflicts in the future.


Posted by Adetola Dayspring-Adenusi | March 08, 2017 - 3:48 p.m.

A beautiful outing by Prof. Adenrele Awotona. His recommendations have laid a foundation for the onerous task of reconstruction of this war-ravaged region.