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Could This Be The New Approach To Disaster Recovery?

Samuel Carter - Former Managing Director, The Rockefeller Foundation

The Urban Institute and The Rockefeller Foundation recently released an evaluation that explores how the Rebuild by Design competition, an initiative of President Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, was designed, carried out, and could be replicated in other contexts.

The evaluation revealed that even though the Rebuild by Design competition was limited to the Sandy recovery area, it has the potential to transform the way disaster recovery efforts are designed, funded, and implemented across the United States. The evaluation focuses solely on Phase I of Rebuild by Design, but it demonstrates that collectively communities and decision makers can respond to crises in creative ways and work as a region to become more resilient with adequate resources and knowledge.


In particular, the evaluation found that Rebuild by Design’s design competition is an innovative strategy for meeting resilience goals, and gives hope that large national problems such as coastal flooding, and other climate and weather events can be successfully addressed by taking a resilience perspective that combines multidisciplinary knowledge, design thinking, and federal oversight.

Rebuild by Design launched in 2013 as a unique public-philanthropic partnership to identify opportunities to build resilience across the region. The six winning proposals, announced earlier this year, were recently awarded nearly $1 billion of disaster recovery funding, and Phase II will focus on the implementation of these projects to build more resilient communities in New York and New Jersey.

For more information about this evaluation, please contact

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