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Rio+20 shows how shoring up natural ecosystems can help protect us from Mother Nature's fury. Rescue workers carry a body from the rubble of a village destroyed by the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan in March 2011.
Natural disasters are a fact of life.There's no controlling Mother Nature, and her wrath can, at times, be staggering. These recovery resources, brochures, and tips are here to help you in the process of recovery.
The Responsive City is the ultimate resource for public officials, government staff, and civic leaders to understand how to leverage new technologies and data platforms to fulfill the promise of effective and efficient local government.
In September of 2008, Hurricane Ike barreled into the Greater Cincinnati area, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. What kinds of operations-enhancing questions have cities asked and answered with data and analytics?

In times of emergency, good government means fast government, able to react nimbly and purposefully to new conditions as they arise.
Last year, natural disasters—from droughts in Africa and Russia to typhoons and massive flooding in Thailand—caused a record $378 billion worth of damage.The indications are that the situation will get worse, not better. There's no ignoring the problem, but there remains a critical question: What protects us better, human engineering or natural landscapes?
There's a natural human urge to rely on the things we make, but the lessons of the past decade have led in a different direction.Often, the great works of civil engineering that we built as insurance against disaster had the opposite effect. Over the past century, the levees built to protect low-lying New Orleans choked off the natural wetlands that once served as a buffer between the Big Easy and the Gulf of Mexico.
So when the hurricane hit—with the area's natural buffers mostly gone—the resulting flooding overwhelmed the city's elaborate man-made defenses, leading to the worst natural disaster to hit the U.S. But in other places, it's the sheer complexity of the human-built environment that makes it more prone to catastrophic failure.

It was bad enough by itself, but it was made worse when it set off a chain reaction that caused a meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.That's why the upcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) will take a look at disaster preparedness from a different angle. Is it possible to use "green" methods to avert catastrophe?"The natural infrastructure provided by ecosystems is often more locally accessible and less expensive to maintain than human-made, or 'gray' infrastructure," UN Environmental Program (UNEP) Director Ibrahim Thiaw said recently.
Even the Netherlands—one of the most engineered countries in the world—has instituted a program to make "Room for the River," re-establishing the floodplains of its rivers.Can sustainable development plans go hand in hand with disaster prevention?

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