Team Working on Disaster Management and Recovery visits Chile

September 05, 2018

Malo Hutson, associate professor in urban planning at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP), and Abby Anderson, a research associate at GSAPP, travelled to Santiago in late August to learn about disaster management and recovery throughout the country. Hutson and his colleagues received a two-year grant from the President’s Global Innovation Fund to study how Chile has responded to a large increase in natural disasters over the past ten years, including wildfires.

During their trip, they visited the Columbia Global Center in Santiago and met with officials from the Chilean government, the private sector, NGOs, and universities. Among them, were Ricardo Toro, national director of the National Emergency Office (ONEMI) and Bernardita Paul, national head of reconstruction at the Ministry of Housing and Urbanism (MINVU). They also got together with members of the Chilean Chamber of Construction, the NGO Desafío Levantemos Chile, researchers working at the Research Center for Integrated Disaster Risk Management (CIGIDEN), and members of the Santiago Research Cell, which is comprised of GSAPP alumni. The team led by Hutson is now planning a seminar in November to further investigate how different public, private and academic stakeholders coordinate to address natural disasters around Chile, and how the lessons learned can be applied in the United States and across the world.