Opening times

Term time schedule

Monday 9am - 5pm
Tuesday 9am - 5pm
Wednesday 9am - 5pm
Thursday 9am - 5pm
Friday 9am - 5pm

Closed for lunch 12pm - 1pm each day

Closed all day Saturday and Sunday and bank holidays

Visit the School

The Project Support Centre is located in the School of Architecture and the Built Environment at the University of Westminster.

Visit the School of Architecture and the Built Environment

Towards an urban agenda on climate-related loss and damage

Posted on: 3 December 2014
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The impacts of climate change in cities are already being felt as loss and damage, due to the lack of capacity of many cities to implement the necessary adaptive and disaster risk reduction (DRR) measures, and the vulnerability of large proportions of urban residents, particularly in developing countries. This paper represents a first attempt to raise some of the issues associated with climate-related loss and damage in urban areas in the global south. It reviews some of the key drivers that will shape the nature and extent of loss and damage in urban areas, explores some of the economic and non-economic approaches to loss and damage that might be taken, discusses some of the key communication challenges around the topic, and identifies some of the information and data gaps and next steps that need to be taken.

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100 Resilient Cities project reveals 35 new urban strongholds

Posted on: 3 December 2014
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After assessing entries from 94 countries, the Rockefeller Foundation-funded programme will confirm its second batch of 35 resilient cities on 3 December 2014. Selected from applicants spanning 94 countries, the chosen 35 cities will be those that have, in line with the ambitions of this Rockefeller Foundation-funded initiative, “demonstrated a dedicated commitment to building their own capacities to prepare for, withstand and bounce back rapidly from shocks and stresses”. These “shocks and stresses” may vary widely between the chosen cities, ranging from natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods to long-term challenges such as social cohesion, access to healthcare, levels of violence and the free movement of people and goods for economic prosperity. A video of the announcement can be viewed online.

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The future framework for disaster risk reduction: A guide for decision makers.

Posted on: 17 November 2014
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This guide is organised into a set of modules, each representing important aspects of the successor to the existing Hyogo Framework for Action. By presenting evidence in the form of data, facts and summary messages, the modules highlight what should be covered by a new agreement. This document is the second draft prepared by ODI and the Climate & Development Knowledge Network. It includes seven original modules, three of which have been extended. To this new modules covering ‘monitoring and ‘accountability’, ‘environment and ecosystems’, ‘science and technology’ and ‘interfaces with the post-2015 framework for sustainable development’ have been added.

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Disasters and ecosystems free online course

Posted on: 12 November 2014
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The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), through its Global Universities Partnership on Environment for Sustainability (GUPES), and Cologne University of Applied Sciences (CUAS), Germany, has launched the first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Disasters and Ecosystems: Resilience in a Changing Climate. The MOOC is an outcome of the long-standing collaboration between UNEP and the Center for Natural Resources and Development, a consortium of 11 universities from around the world that is coordinated by CUAS. The free course, due to start in January 2015, will cover the following topics: Disaster trends and statistics; Fundamentals of disaster risk reduction; Climate change, disasters, and environmental linkages; Tools for ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction and adaptation; and Global, national and local processes of disaster risk reduction. The course will be delivered through a series of lectures and case studies, along with substantial additional study materials provided to the students. Lectures will be available through videos as well as online documents, and will be geared for students who may not have access to high speed internet so they can also follow the course. Registration for the course is now open.

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Market cities: Port-au-Prince, shows the power of public markets to regenerate

Posted on: 7 November 2014
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This blog uses the example in Port au-Prince to highlight how markets have played key roles in helping to re-build and re-energize areas that had been devastated by natural disasters.

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Second Arab conference on disaster risk reduction.  Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, 14-16 September 2014

Posted on: 5 November 2014
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The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt, the South Sinai Governorate and the League of Arab States (LAS) organized this conference. Adhering to the outcomes of the first Arab Conference for DRR, held in Aqaba (Jordan) in March 2013, the 2nd Arab Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) provided a forum for Arab governments, policy makers, planners, academia, civil society and development experts to discuss disaster risk reduction in the region. The Conference highlighted the progress of disaster risk reduction efforts and review the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015 in the Arab region. It also aimed to shape regional priorities towards the successor framework for disaster risk reduction beyond 2015. Presentations and background information are available online.

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World Disasters Report 2014: focus on culture and risk

Posted on: 4 November 2014
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This year’s World Disasters Report focuses on culture and risk. It explores the different ways in which culture affects disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation and how disasters and risk influence culture. It examines why people choose to live in hazard-prone locations, and how culture and beliefs enable them to live with the risks they face. The report looks at the organizational culture of agencies working in the fields of disaster risk reduction and adaptation, and challenges the widespread faith in community-based activities. It also considers culture in relation to housing and reconstruction, and healthcare and medicine. Finally, the document indicates starting points for organizations to better align their actions with the way people think and act.

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Development of the Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction

Posted on: 21 October 2014
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This is a draft proposal of the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction, to be presented at the second session of the Preparatory Committee of the Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction to be held in Geneva from 17 to 18 November 2014.

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Earthquake strategy for sustainable infrastructure in Turkey

Posted on: 7 October 2014
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The Izmit earthquake in north-west Turkey in 1999 resulted in 17,127 deaths, 43,959 injuries and extensive property and infrastructure damage. The event highlighted a national lack of seismic design and construction codes. After recovering from the initial effects of the Izmit earthquake, work started on a national earthquake strategy and action plan by public organisations, institutions, academics and practitioners. This paper provides an overview of the efforts to date to achieve safe, earthquake-resilient and sustainable urban infrastructure in Turkey.

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Downstream voices: Wetland solutions to reducing disaster risk

Posted on: 30 September 2014
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For years communities across the world have suffered the devastating effects of flooding. It is likely that climate change is increasing the frequency and severity of many of these flood events, and population growth – especially in coastal cities – is putting more people in harms’ way. The instinctive response to increased flood risk is often to call in the engineers and build flood defences. However a new book calls into question this model for managing flood risk, suggesting that is ineffective, and that it is based on an out-dated model of assessing climate risk. The 43-page book, commissioned by Wetlands International and written by Fred Pearce (news editor at the New Scientist), takes the reader on a journey to three large river basins in India, Mali and Senegal where Wetlands International improves water resource management and the condition of wetlands to make communities more resilient to extreme weather events and impacts of climate change.

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