Making Cities Resilient:
My City is Getting Ready
Essential Ten: Expedite Recovery and Build Back Better

"Ensure of sufficient pre-disaster plans according to risks identified and that after any disaster, the needs of the affected are at the centre of recovery and reconstruction, with their support to design and implement rebuilding."


Cities are built by many entities over decades or centuries, and hence difficult to rebuild in a short period of time. There is continual tension between the need to rebuild quickly and to rebuild as safely and sustainably as possible. A well-planned and participatory recovery and reconstruction process helps the city reactivate itself, restore and rebuild its damaged infrastructure and recover its economy, empowering citizens to rebuild their lives, housing and livelihoods. Reconstruction must begin as soon as possible – in fact, cities can foresee needs, establish operational mechanisms and pre-assign resources before a disaster. Recovery and rehabilitation can be planned ahead of the disaster to a considerable degree. Leadership, coordination and obtaining money are key.

Recovery must be addressed in various aspects​
Include the affected population in the definition of needs and recovery plans​
Recovery is an opportunity to build back better and improve development
Seek resources, strengthen alliances and ensure sustainability


Sri Lanka
An Owner-driven Approach to Reconstruction in Sri Lanka

The December 2004 tsunami completely destroyed approximately 100,000 dwellings in Sri Lanka and damaged 44,290. The State Task Force used an innovative owner-driven approach to support housing reconstruction, providing grants directly to the owners for reconstruction; owners supplemented this grant with other donations. Most activities related to planning, layout, design and construction were delegated to local beneficiaries, who were supported by technical staff, allowing groups of beneficiaries to negotiate their costs down. On the other hand, a donor-assisted programme that followed a contractor-driven approach, without involvement of the community, had much lower satisfaction rates. The owner-driven reconstruction produced more houses, more quickly, of better construction quality, and at less cost. Space standards were generally better and the designs, layouts, and locations more acceptable to beneficiaries. The programme appears to have fostered a cooperative local social fabric and institution.
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