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ArgumentNo. 4/2012

Participatism and disaster management


Although not investigating risk perception as such, the contribution relates to how the acceptance of measures to reduce (seismic) risk can be increased. Research on participatory aspects of decision-making gives a vision of the possibilities of dialogue with citizens. Building construction requires a special way of such a dialogue compared with other sciences: people have always been involved in the decision by the type of property for housing, and are increasingly through the democratization of design. The basis for communication of research results are not only theoretical, but still documenting examples of best practice. We looked at developments in the last 50 years, highlighting the transition between different levels, which correspond to different degrees of participation, during those decades. Historical approaches such as "pattern language" by Christopher Alexander in the 1960s, that could have been a language of communication between actors, or the method of "Stichting Architects Research", which features architectural research on participation for the first time, can be viewed not only as stages, but as showing the degree of activation layers in participatory approaches that last until today. We are actively involved in some new developments, such as a model making it available in the World Housing Encyclopedia an expert information system draft that could evolve to a decision support system and a decision-making approach based on "retrofit elements" considering similar interest groups, and in Web 2.0 communication initiatives related to the response to the L'Aquila and Haiti earthquakes.


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