In Focus | Cities After Great Disasters

Robert Olshansky and a colleague had nearly completed their multi-year assessment of how a catastrophic event like the 1995 Kobe, Japan, earthquake would affect a major U.S. city when Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans. In a matter of days, theory became fact.

“Suddenly, there it was—in front of us,” Olshansky said.

Here, Olshansky, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Urban & Regional Planning at the University of Illinois and co-author of the new book, “Cities After Great Disasters” talks with Uwe Brandes, Faculty Director of Georgetown’s Master's in Urban & Regional Planning program, about what cities can learn about disaster preparation, response, and recovery from urban areas that have already been hit.  

“We think it’s something that every urban planner should know something about,” Olshansky said.

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