The University of Utah
College of Architecture + Planning
Understanding Community Recovery from Catastrophes

Interdependency in Decision Making: An Integrated Approach to Understanding Community Recovery

Funded by the National Science Foundation and the Natural Hazards Center, this ongoing collaborative research (2013-2017) captures the interplay and evolution of post-disaster recovery decision-making by different stakeholders with the aim to improve our understanding of why (i.e. the reasons) community recovery occurs the way it does, and how (i.e. the mechanics). To this end, we examine the interdependency in recovery decision-making by households, businesses and government policy after the 2012 Hurricane Sandy in New York City, and track how these evolve over time. In the process, we are aiming to answer questions such as:

  1. What factors contribute to household recovery decisions and how are they related to businesses recovery success?
  2. What factors contribute to business recovery decisions and to what extent are they related to household recovery success?
  3. How do these relationships change or evolve over time?
  4. Do government and institutions’ policies and programs capture the recovery needs and priorities of households and businesses initially and over time?

This study is a collaboration between Texas A&M University, Stonybrook University, and the University of Utah, and is funded by the National Science Foundation and the Natural Hazards Center.

Three papers are currently under revise and resubmit status:

Chandrasekhar, D., Rothfeder, R., Xiao, Y., & Finn, D. (Revise & Resubmit). “What drives household recovery after catastrophic disasters? Lessons from New York City after the 2012 Hurricane Sandy.” Journal of Environmental Planning and Management.

Finn, D., Chandrasekhar, D., & Xiao, Y. (Revise & Resubmit). “A region recovers: Planning after Hurricane Sandy.” Journal of Planning Education and Research.

Xiao, Y., Wu, K., Finn. D., & Chandrasekhar, D. (Revise & Resubmit). “Community Businesses as Social Units in Post-Disaster Recovery.” Journal of Planning Education and Research.

Read an update on this study here.


Project Investigators:

Divya Chandrasekhar, Ph.D.

801-585-7102 (o)


Student Research Team:

Robin Rothfeder

October 5, 2016