Designing for Disasters Before They Happen:Veronica Cedillos MIT Architecture Lecture



The MIT Architecture Fall 2020 Lectures are now online, free, and open to the public. I am honored to be a featured speaker and I invite you to watch the webcast:


Designing for Disasters Before They Happen: A Focus on Underserved Communities

Click here to watch the webcast



Over 90% of disaster fatalities occur in developing countries, and natural disasters are a major driver of extreme poverty for millions around the world. What could change this stark disproportion in impacts? 


There are ample examples, as well as international consensus, that proactive measures are the most effective in saving lives and protecting livelihoods. But that’s not what we see in common practice. 


I’ll explain why efforts to design for resilience are more critical than ever, especially in developing urban areas.


The way we work at GeoHazards International is to take on disasters before they happen. Since 1991, we have worked in over 20 countries to mitigate impacts of earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, and more recently, climate-induced hazards. 


We focus on locally-appropriate mitigation and preparedness measures informed by the latest science, engineering, policy, and social science. These include risk-informed planning, disaster-resistant structures, post-event functionality of critical infrastructure like hospitals, and actionable information about how to prepare. We emphasize strengthening local capacities and we aim for local ownership of solutions so that communities can thrive despite natural hazards.


My talk will provide examples from countries where we work, and describe on-the-ground challenges, strategies for addressing them, and opportunities. I hope you enjoy the webcast.


Kind regards,

Veronica Cedillos, President and CEO

GeoHazards International 

Nepal · India · Bhutan · Haiti · Dominican Republic · U.S.A.