Promoting Safer Building Working Group

Understanding the context - Forms and report template

Reference documentation

A building culture results from the adaptation of a community to the environmental conditions of the territory in which it is established - physical, climatic, social, economic and cultural. As with biodiversity, a multitude of local building cultures exists throughout the world and it is important to consider that all of them evolve and change over time, and that several building cultures may coexist in a given territory.

This research explores the potential of vernacular building cultures in enhancing local resilience; and this starting from - constructive and behavioural – practices developed by individual people and groups living in contexts geographically exposed to natural hazards. Based on a strong interaction between theory and action, this research undertakes a (re)discovery of vernacular knowledge through two thematic focuses. One examines disaster resilient vernacular provisions and devices which have demonstrated their effectiveness to reduce vulnerability of the built environment to various types of natural hazards. The other one considers ways for their identification and direct contribution to strengthening capacities of communities and institutions for disaster risk management. This research combines a technical analysis with the development of a methodological tool, contributing to set up a project approach strongly rooted into contextual specificities, linking culture and practice, past experience and future needs, disaster response and preparedness.

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