Guest editorial: The impacts of the construction industry’s increasing focus on disaster resilience

Greg Watts, Gayan Wedawatta

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial


Both disaster resilience and the wider social responsibility of construction organisations are increasingly important and increasingly under stakeholder scrutiny. This is not limited to a single country or geographical region with all nations experiencing the negative impacts of increasing prevalent disasters. Knowledge of the resilience of the built environment, including preparedness, response and recovery, has advanced significantly over recent years. We are now in an era where resilience is seen as a key constituent of the built environment. But the recurring and devastating impacts of disasters constantly challenge us
to improve our practices and seek ways of reaching greater heights in the quest of achieving a resilient built environment. Many of the initiatives to enhance resilience in the built environment carry financial implications. The increasing need for built environment organisations to focus on, and be seen to focus on, creating social value also carries financial implications. Such implications must be balanced with the need to make a profit or often to simply ensure business survival. This Special Issue serves to capitalise on the growing importance of the twin contemporary demands placed upon construction finance – creating
a positive impact in society and ensuring both built assets and the construction companies themselves are disaster resilient. These demands need to be better understood and explored in the context of construction finance so benefits can be maximised for all stakeholders.
This timely special issue is intended to reinforce the increasing importance of disaster resilience and its prominent place in construction management research and practice. Focusing on a wide range of interconnected topics, from a wide range of countries, this special issue, brings together new knowledge, theories and practice related to disaster resilience from a truly global perspective. The topic of disaster resilience spans countries, professions and technologies. It permeates its way onto the agenda of all construction industry stakeholders and impacts nearly all aspects of the industry itself, from how assets are designed, constructed, maintained and ultimately demolished. As guest editors, our
overall aim is to advance the emerging body of knowledge in the disaster management practices of the built environment, especially by shedding light on the multi-faceted challenge of enhancing disaster resilience in the built environment. The papers selected for this special issue each serve to enhance our understanding of the impacts disasters can have upon communities and the built environment. However, more than simply identifying and articulating these disaster impacts, the selected papers identify rays of hope, ideas of innovation and best practices. These can be, and are, currently adopted by built environment practitioners to enhance disaster resilience around the globe, from Indonesia to Iran, India to Sri Lanka, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-163
Number of pages3
Journal Journal of Financial Management of Property and Construction
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2023

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