Postdisaster Reconstruction of Horizontal Infrastructure Systems: A Review of the Christchurch Rebuild
10th Annual Conference of the International Institute for Infrastructure Renewal and Reconstruction
This paper investigates the decision-making processes guiding postdisaster infrastructure reconstructionconcentrating on wastewater, water supply, stormwater and road networks ("horizontal infrastructure"). It draws on empirical analysis of the postearthquake reconstruction currently underway in Christchurch, New Zealand. Restoring infrastructure services to provide at least a basic level of essential services after a disaster helps wider economic recovery. Subsequently, there is pressure to
... e is pressure to restore infrastructure services to predisaster levels as quickly as possible. Reconstruction programmes thus commence in highly uncertain decision-making environments and are reactive to perceived, immediate needs. The extent and nature of the work is later clarified and re-evaluated as projects progress. This context of postdisaster response presents unique challenges in terms of design and delivery processes. The focus of this paper is to address the impact of such institutional and organizational arrangements on postdisaster reconstruction decisions. It also discusses changes in decision making that occur over time as needs change. It does this through examining changes in the overall design philosophy and approaches to prioritization and deferment in the Christchurch case study.