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Urban planning lessons from the Kerala floods

As we gear up to invest trillions in new cities, we need to orient the development process to boost resilience and avoid the trajectory that has brought us to the current state of affairs

The coverage of disasters in the media follows a predictable cycle. Commencing with the surge of the disaster, it moves to despair, heroic stories of social resilience, an outpouring of relief and finally, the blame game. The blame game often sets the tone for the “development vs environment” debate. The process of rebuilding the built environment and rehabilitating livelihoods is the most prolonged and resource-intensive phase of a disaster cycle. This is unfortunately beyond the patience of mainstream media coverage, which fails to highlight that a long rehabilitation cycle ...