BBB – Legislation for building back better of horizontal infrastructure

Abstract Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to determine how post-disaster legislation can be used to support building back better (BBB) in the horizontal infrastructure sector (roading, water, wastewater and stormwater networks).

Design/methodology/approach – A case study approach was taken looking at the rebuild following the Canterbury earthquakes in New Zealand. Data were collected through document analysis and semi-structured open-ended interviews with members of the organization responsible for implementing the horizontal infrastructure rebuild.

Findings – The results showed that the post-disaster legislative actions taken in Christchurch were comparable to existing findings on post-disaster legislative best practices in developed countries. This study confirmed that post-disaster legislation is an effective mechanism to support BBB through enforcing BBB concepts such as risk reduction and better implementation, and facilitating the recovery process to improve efficiency. Research limitations/implications – It is recommended that this study is extended to conduct similar case studies in other countries to further explore legislative implications in different sectors as well as different legislative environments.

Originality/value – This paper makes a valuable contribution to existing research on how post-disaster legislation can be used to support BBB in the horizontal infrastructure sector. The findings also add to wider knowledge on the Canterbury earthquakes recovery process.

Keywords Build back better, Reconstruction, Post-disaster recovery, Canterbury earthquakes, Disasters and legislation, Infrastructure reconstruction

Paper type Research paper

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