W120 - Disasters and the Built Environment

Activity: OtherTypes of External academic engagement - Contribution to the work of national or international committees and working groups


In 2014 the CIB Programme Committee established a new Working Commission (W120) that would focus on issues related to ‘Disasters and the Built Environment’ and appointed Dr Lee Bosher (Loughborough University) and Dr Jason von Meding (University of Newcastle) as Joint Coordinators. W120 is a successor to TG63 that was established in 2010 under the coordination of Dr Richard Haigh (Salford University) and Dr Cassidy Johnson (University College London). Objectives and Scope Rapid growth of urban centres presents numerous challenges to humanity, many of which can beaddressed through built environment solutions. In the face of more frequent and powerful hazards,the future of vulnerable and growing populations is increasingly perilous. Against this background,recognising both this vulnerability and the importance of protecting and enhancing life, the objectivesof the Commission are: ¿ to explore optimum means of engaging multiple stakeholders in collaborative projects that address issues of disaster and development through built environment solutions ¿ to encourage strategic urban planning through development of an evidence base supporting built-in disaster risk reduction (DRR) ¿ to advocate for the deployment of the appropriate built environment professionals in support of DRR activities ¿ to develop tools / frameworks / models to support built environment organisations in complex environments in a variety of global contexts ¿ to support the embedding of disaster and development issues in the curriculum of built environment disciplines globally, encouraging the consideration of broader career paths, and ¿ to encourage built environment professional bodies (engineering, architecture etc.) to include a similar obligation in their educational base requirements. Work Programme The Commission's Work Program includes: ¿ stimulating and facilitating experts' discussion worldwide via social media ¿ triennial updating of a Research Roadmap ¿ best practices Webinar series ¿ participation with scientific sessions and workshops in international conferences and congresses, including the triennial CIB World Building Congress and the i-Rec conferences ¿ setting up and facilitating an international, Commission related Student Chapter on Disasters and the Built Environment CIB Cooperation with UNISDR CIB and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) Campaign, “Making Cities Resilient: My City is getting ready!” have set out a partnership agreement, outlining intensions to cooperate on information sharing and policy development within their respective domains. One initiative of this partnership has been a series of web-based seminars (webinars) held in May 2012 that was originally set up as part of the TG63 activities. More recently CIB W120 organised a workshop on ‘Reducing disaster risks in the built environment’ at the UNISDR’s World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) in Sendai, Japan. The development of this joint CIB – UNISDR research roadmap started in 2013 and is now being finalised.
Period2018 → …
Held atInternational Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction (CIB), Netherlands


  • natural disasters
  • emergency engineering
  • landslides
  • urban environment
  • erosion
  • contamination
  • flooding