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A Critical Appraisal of Community Resilience Studies: Progress and Challenges



Maria Koliou, John W. van de Lindt, Bruce Ellingwood, Maria Dillard, Harvey Cutler, Therese P. McAllister


Community resilience, which has been defined as the ability to prepare for and recover from disruptive hazard events, has been addressed across multiple disciplines including environmental sciences, engineering, sociology, psychology and economics. Interest in community resilience gained momentum following several key natural and human-caused hazards, including Hurricanes Andrew and Katrina in 1992 and 2005, respectively, the Northridge earthquake in 1994, the World Trade Center and Pentagon terrorist attacks in 2001, and Super Storm Sandy in 2012. To date, a comprehensive community resilience model that encompasses the performance of all the physical and socio-economic components from immediate impact through the recovery phase of a natural disaster has not been available. This paper summarizes a literature review of previous community resilience studies with a focus on natural disasters, which includes primarily models of individual infrastructure systems (e.g. buildings, electrical power, and healthcare), their interdependencies, and community economic and social systems. A series of national and international initiatives aimed at community resilience are also summarized in this study. This paper suggests extensions of existing modeling methodologies aimed at developing an improved, integrated understanding of resilience that can be used by policymakers in preparation for future hazards.
Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure


Community Resilience, Civil Infrastructure, Computable General Equilibrium Economic Models, Disaster Recovery, Social Systems


Koliou, M. , van de Lindt, J. , Ellingwood, B. , Dillard, M. , Cutler, H. and McAllister, T. (2018), A Critical Appraisal of Community Resilience Studies: Progress and Challenges, Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure, [online], (Accessed May 27, 2024)


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Created January 7, 2018, Updated October 12, 2021