Revealing Risk & Redefining Development: Exploring Hurricane Impact on St. Croix, USVI
Abraham, Risa Dessel
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This thesis explores the direct and indirect role of landscape architecture in disaster risk reduction specifically focusing on designing and managing natural resources such as sun, wind and water as well as allocating infrastructure to improve the power and transportation system on the public, private and regulatory levels that can prove to endure the impact of a hurricane and promote a "culture of prevention." Every year a significant amount of damage is cause by natural disasters throughout the whole world. This highlighted the importance of mitigating the adverse impacts of disasters through the process of disaster risk reduction. The architecture, landscape architecture and urban design disciplines and the construction industry have a strong relationship with disaster management and therefore provide a high need in identifying how landscape architecture can contribute towards disaster risk reduction. This thesis focuses on the role of the design and construction industry, specifically the landscape architecture profession, in disaster risk reduction. A two-step approach was formalized to develop an understanding and to produce a design proposal based on the practice and theories of landscape architecture. The first step explores the definition of disasters and risk and provides a comprehensive literature review on disaster mitigation. The second step includes the systematic development and application of these policies, strategies and practices to limit or avoid the effects of hazards in the form of a three-tiered detailed design and mitigation plan. The findings from both steps will be applied to re-design the town of Christiansted, St. Croix, in the United States Virgin Islands.