A new paper by Northeastern expert Daniel Aldrich explores social capital in disaster governance, providing guidance on how to support communities toward more resilience.
Social Capital and Natural Hazards Governance digs into the many existing questions about social capital and natural hazards, such as mitigation, preparedness, response recovery, etc.
“Decision-makers persist in focusing primarily on structural measures to reduce losses centered on physical infrastructure such as berms, seawalls, retrofitted buildings, and levees,” the authors wrote. “Yet a growing body of research emphasizes that strengthening social infrastructure, not just physical infrastructure, serves as a cost-effective way to improve the ability of communities to withstand and rebound from disasters.”
Three distinct kinds of social connections, including bonding, bridging, and linking social ties, support resilience through increasing the provision of emergency information, mutual aid, and collective action within communities to address natural hazards before, during, and after disaster events.
“Investing in social capital fosters community resilience that transcends natural hazards and positively affects collective governance and community health,” the authors wrote.
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