When a city falls

The other night I very bravely made my way along to the Palms to see When a city falls. Having not been to a movie theatre since the September earthquake, I did question why I would choose to see a movie about the same earthquake that stopped me going to movies in the first place, but curiosity got the better of me.

If you think you can cope then go to this movie.  It is quite wonderful,  sad when it needs to be and uplifting when it can be.  It is everything you would expect, but thankfully the footage does not rely on endless scenes of destruction, instead it is about the people of Canterbury just trying to get through it all and come out the other side.

The last part of the movie visits San Francisco, Portland and New Orleans to see how they are attempting to rebuild their cities.  The footage is short, but it is an effort to see what is possible.  If you would like to know more about these cities and other places around the globe that have recovered from a disaster then you may find these titles interesting.

CoverDesign like you give a damn : architectural responses to humanitarian crisis  Cameron Sinclair
Gathers projects conceived and executed by architects and designers under the aegis of Architecture for Humanity, a relief organization dedicated to promoting architectural and design solutions to global, social and humanitarian crises.

A paradise built in hell : the extraordinary communities that arise in disaster   Rebecca Solnit
Explores the phenomenon through which people become resourceful and altruistic after a disaster and communities reflect a shared sense of purpose

Resilience and opportunity : lessons from the U.S. Gulf Coast after Katrina and Rita Amy Liu

Examines the roles of community grassroots and charitable organizations as well as national, state, and local governments in post-disaster recovery, focusing on rebuilding to achieve more resilient, prosperous, and equitable communities

CoverA promise in Haiti : a reporter’s notes on families and daily lives Mark Curnutte
The author was originally following three families lives and was encouraged to keep in contact after the devastating earthquake.  This is a very different story from the others listed here, as it follows a country with a with a history  that greatly affects its ability to recover.

Reconstructing Kobe : the geography of crisis and opportunity David Edgington
Drawing on fieldwork and interviews with planners, activists, and bureaucrats, David Edgington records the first ten years of reconstruction and recovery efforts and offers detailed descriptions of the geography of crisis and opportunity.