Anuradha Mukherji

RESEARCH - PROJECTS

Negotiating Adaptation and Recovery Through Land-Use Change in Tohoku, Japan

Funding: Abe Fellowship, Supported by the Japan Foundation
Status: Ongoing
Anuradha Mukherji, Assistant Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, East Carolina University

The Research

This study proposes to examine how coastal communities (e.g. municipalities) in Tohoku, Japan employ and negotiate land-use change adaptation strategies following the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami to adapt to coastal land subsidence and subsequent sea level rise. In doing so, the long-term research goal in this study is to advance scholarship on local community-based adaptation mechanisms that are employed to strengthen resilience to hazards in general. The objective in this proposal is to advance knowledge and understanding of long-term local (e.g. municipality) adaptation, specifically during disaster recovery, by examining land-use change strategies being negotiated in Tohoku, Japan to adapt to coastal land subsidence and sea-level rise.

Disaster Resilience In Coastal United States: Enhancing Local Capacities Through Hazard Mitigation Plan Implementation

Funding: Division of Research and Graduate Studies, East Carolina University
Status: Completed
Anuradha Mukherji, Assistant Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, East Carolina University

The Research

Despite an extensive and growing scholarship on hazard mitigation as a critical component of disaster resilience, understanding of hazard mitigation plan implementation at the local level (county and municipality) remains limited. To address this gap, this proposed study focuses on issues faced by local jurisdictions (counties) in coastal North Carolina to implement multi-jurisdictional (county level) hazard mitigation plans. In doing so, the long-term research goal in this study is to advance scientific research in enhancing disaster resilience through hazard mitigation in general. The objective in this proposal is to enrich knowledge and understanding of local resilience, specifically by examining implementation of hazard mitigation plan subsequent to its adoption at the local county level.

As a place-based study, this research focuses on the 20 coastal counties of North Carolina, specifically those under the Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA). The 20 CAMA counties are vulnerable to multiple hazards (e.g. floods, hurricanes, tornadoes) and have county level hazard mitigation plans. Yet, the implementation of the mitigation plans has been highly uneven and varies within and across the CAMA counties. The proposed study examines why this is the case

Re-Housing Urban Haiti After The Earthquake: Dual Role of Social Capital

Funding: National Science Foundation Rapid Grant ($45,000), 04/2010 to 03/2011
Status: Completed
Research Collaborators:
- Principal Investigator: Emel Ganapati, Assistant Professor of Public Administration, Florida International University
- Co-Principal Investigator: Guitele Rahill, Assistant Professor of Social Work, University of South Florida
- Senior Project Expert: Anuradha Mukherji, Assistant Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, East Carolina University

The Research

Despite an emerging literature regarding social capital in disaster recovery, the actual impact of social capital on the speed and quality of early post-disaster housing recovery is little understood. The objective of this project was to enhance knowledge concerning the role of social capital, an important component of resilience, in the early recovery process following the January 12, 2010 Haiti earthquake in the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area. The project had three specific aims: (1) Document the pre- and post-disaster social capital in three socio-economically diverse Port-au-Prince communities; (2) Document the housing recovery process in three selected Port-au-Prince communities; and (3) Assess the impact of pre- and post-disaster social capital on the speed and quality of housing recovery in these communities.

The study involved two waves of data collection (a baseline and a follow up) spaced six months apart in Haiti. In each wave, the project team conducted in-depth semi-structured interviews of policy makers/practitioners and community leaders, and facilitated focus groups with community residents. In addition, the team employed participant observation in community and public meetings on post-disaster housing recovery. Lastly, the team reviewed secondary sources, including post-disaster housing recovery plans, newspapers, minutes of public meetings, laws and regulations, and other published documents.

The study aimed to capture time-sensitive and perishable longitudinal data on the earthquake in Haiti, thereby contributing to knowledge on early post-disaster housing recovery, social capital, and resilience. The research goal was to enable policy makers to establish long-term recovery policies that take into account each community's unique needs and capabilities rather than developing "one size fits all" policies to guide recovery interventions. Moreover, it helped identify the capabilities of selected Port-au-Prince communities.